Andy Murray achieved his second victory as a professional over his fellow Briton Tim Henman with a roller-coaster 6-2, 7-6 second-round success at the Rogers Cup in Toronto last night. Having beaten the world No 13, David Ferrer, on Tuesday night, this was more evidence that Murray's partnership with his new coach, Brad Gilbert, is paying off.
Yet the British No 1 showed that there are still a lot of rough edges to his game for Gilbert to work on. Having been 6-2, 5-2 up, he somehow contrived to let his dominance ebb away and but for a grotesque Henman error would have been taken into a third set. He now faces Carlos Moya, of Spain, in the third round.
"It was tough," said the 19-year-old Murray. "When I served for it at 5-3 I missed all four first serves, but I felt that he played some good points, including one unbelievable chip return up the line.
"It was good to come through, especially when I got broken at 5-5, and then obviously to come back and break at 6-5 and play a pretty solid tie-break.
Referring to his mini-collapse in the second set, Murray then added: " I've not normally had problems with closing out matches."
Early on Murray had looked in control, breaking for 3-1 after a spectacularly athletic high backhand drop-volley. But the Scot has recently developed the dangerous habit of giving back leads and he dropped serve in the next game when Henman pulled off a sensational mid-court forehand volley and cashed in on an unwise Murray drop-shot. Yet the British No 1 seemed unworried and cruised through the next three games to take the first set.
The entertaining match was a contrast with the marathon struggle which Murray won against Henman in Basle last October and early in the second set the Scot showed his confidence by serve-volleying on a second serve, breaking again and moving to 3-0.
Yet, at 5-2, Murray could not close the door. Henman held serve and broke back to love, his chip-charge tactics bringing two delightful volleys down the line. At 5-5, Murray then dropped serve yet again, the fourth straight game Henman had won.
The British No 2 then worked his way to set point on his serve and had a backhand volley into an open court but, incredibly, he put it into the net with Murray stranded. The Scot exploited the let-off, taking the match into a tie-break when Henman missed a routine forehand. In the tie-break, however, Murray rediscovered his composure and took it fairly comfortably, 7-3.