Murray switched on despite power cut

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The Independent Online

That is what happened on Centre Court yesterday with the score at 4-4, 15-15 in the opening set of Murray's second-round match against Gregory Carraz, of France, ranked 182. The 18-year-old Scot went on to win, 7-5, 6-3.

When the match resumed, after 45 minutes, Murray, who had already exchanged breaks of serve with Carraz, broke his racket after saving three break points in the ninth game. Murray made the decisive break of the set in the 11th game, returning a second serve to his opponent's feet.

Murray's serve was the dominant factor in the second set, and he broke in the seventh game, completing his victory after 77 minutes.

Murray, seeded No 7, is now ranked No 72 in the world, having been helped by his results in Bangkok last week, when he lost in the final of the Thailand Open to Roger Federer, the world No 1.

The 42nd-ranked Malisse, who defeated Julien Benneteau, of France, 7-5, 6-4, said: "I've never played Murray, but I saw him at the US Open. He doesn't have a really big serve, but he has a good variety of shots and can slice very well along the lines. It's too early to say he's going to be a top 10 player, but he's a talent, for sure."

Mariano Puerta, of Argentina,who is the subject of doping allegations, said yesterday that he took anti-inflammatory tablets for a sore leg after his semi-final win against Russia's Nikolay Davydenko at the French Open in June.

Puerta has denied a report in L'Equipe, the French sports daily, suggesting that he had tested positive for a banned stimulant after his defeat by Rafael Nadal, of Spain, in the final.

"It's really crazy," said Puerta, who faces a life ban if found guilty, having failed a doping test and been banned two years ago. "The doctor gave me a simple medicine, but it's completely unrelated to any medicine I'm supposed to have taken.

"I've heard the rumour I had a cold and took some medicine, but that's completely untrue."

Puerta was yesterday defeated at the Japan Open in Tokyo by Marcos Baghdatis, of Cyprus, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5.

L'Equipe reported that traces of the stimulant etilefrine were found in his urine sample after the French Open final. It also quoted him as saying at the time that he had taken medication to fight a cold.

The American Taylor Dent, who is also competing in Tokyo, said Puerta deserved a fair hearing and asked the ATP to protect players' rights. "I'm a little disappointed with the system," Dent said. "The agency doing these tests is leaking the results. Mariano Puerta deserves a fair trial. Lance Armstrong was wrongly accused, and maybe it's the same for Mariano Puerta. It's unfair it came out in a newspaper. The ATP should take steps to make sure it doesn't happen again."

The International Tennis Federation are in charge of drug testing at the four Grand Slam tournaments. A player would normally be informed that the first of two samples had proved positive within three weeks of the end of the event. Puerta said neither the ITF nor the ATP had contacted him. His Argentinian compatriot, Guillermo Canas, was banned for two years in August after failing a dope test. Fellow Argentinians Guillermo Coria and Juan Ignacio Chela have also been banned for doping.

L'Equipe claimed in August that the seven times Tour de France winner Armstrong had been discovered to have taken the illegal blood-boosting drug EPO in 1999. Armstrong has denied the claims.

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