Murray keeps up momentum as fightback stuns Schüttler
Thursday 23 February 2006
Andy Murray recovered from a set and a break down to continue his winning momentum with a first-round victory over the German Rainer Schüttler at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis yesterday.
The Scot followed up his first ATP Tour title success in San Jose last week by battling back to win 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 here after being within a game of elimination.
A good week in this tournament could push the 18-year-old above Greg Rusedski and Tim Henman to become Britain's No 1 after wins over Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt helped him to win the SAP Open last week.
Possibly the excitement of that success may have unsettled Murray, who was unable to convert a break chance in the first game of the match as Schüttler recovered to hold. The experienced German then made Murray pay by breaking himself to go 2-0 up as the Scot only managed to put one first serve into play.
To the Dunblane youngster's relief, he got off the mark in his second service game to trail 3-1, but Schüttler reasserted himself by winning to love in the fifth game and breaking Murray again in the next.
The 18-year-old saved two set points but Schüttler, the 2003 Australian Open finalist, converted the third to close out the first set 6-1 in just over 28 minutes.
The second set progressed with serve until the fifth game, when the 29-year-old Schüttler kept his nerve to break again and move 3-2 up. Games then went with serve until the German served for the match at 5-4. But Murray immediately showed his resilience. After missing one break chance at 30-40, he converted a second to level the set at 5-5.
Murray then held serve again and broke Schüttler again to level the match at one set apiece. The Scot broke Schüttler in the fourth game of the deciding set to move into a winning position, and almost repeated the feat in Schüttler's next service game before the German held.
Murray held to go 5-2 up and broke Schüttler to love to complete the turnaround and set up a match with either Jonas Bjorkman, of Sweden, or the tournament's second seed, Nicolas Kiefer of Germany, in the second round.
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