Murray forced to dig deep to seal progress

Andy Murray survived a major scare to reach the third round of the Sony Ericsson Open here. The British No 1, hoping to build on his run to the final in Indian Wells last weekend, had to recover from a poor start to defeat Juan Monaco 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Monaco, who turned 25 yesterday, was inspired in the opening set but, having missed a chance to break in the opening game of the second, faded badly as Murray gradually took control in the pair's first meeting on Saturday night.

Monaco created the first opening in the third game, and the world No 59 took advantage on his third break point. The Argentine was playing near faultless tennis and Murray looked frustrated by his failure to break down his opponent and it got worse for Murray in the fifth game as Monaco claimed a second break to love.

The British No 1 saved further break points in the seventh game but then failed to take his one chance to break back as Monaco wrapped up the first set 6-4.

The 21-year-old was on the back foot at the start of the second set as well, the Argentine winning the first three points on Murray's serve. But this time the Scot stood firm. Murray continued to look somewhat ill at ease however, which was surprising given he trains in Miami during the winter and bought an apartment in the city last year. However, he was gradually getting the upper hand and secured the break in the fourth game that enabled him to take the set and level at 1-1 as his opponent struggled to rediscover his form of the opening set.

Murray broke again in the first game of the deciding set but Monaco pulled level immediately. A third successive break gave Murray the advantage again and from there he eased to victory.

"I served really well when I was behind in games," Murray said. "We had a lot of long rallies early on and the conditions here compared with last week are completely different. I had to take a couple of days off after Indian Wells to try to get my body rested and recovered. Last week was the first time I'd played since my virus and I don't want it to come back."

World No 1 Rafael Nadal eased into the third round with a comfortable 6-2, 6-2 win over Teimuraz Gabashvili.

Suggested Topics
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'