Murray through despite hiccup

Andy Murray survived a monumental mid-match slump to beat Marcos Baghdatis today and reach week two of the French Open for the second successive year.

World number four Murray was in the comfort zone after winning the opening two sets before completely losing the plot, gifting his opponent seven successive games and a route back into the match.

But after going a break down in the fourth set on a sunny Suzanne Lenglen Court, the 23-year-old finally woke up to win 6-2 6-3 0-6 6-2 in two hours and 33 minutes to set up a last-16 clash with Tomas Berdych or John Isner.

Murray had lost his two previous meetings with former Australian Open finalist Baghdatis, although they had not played since 2007.

The pair had moved in opposite directions following that match, Murray soaring to as high as second in the rankings and the Cypriot slumping from eighth to outside to top 150.

But the past year has seen mini-resurgence from the 24-year-old, who is up to 30th in the world and even beat Roger Federer at Indian Wells in March.

After late starts in his two-day second-round win over Juan Ignacio Chela, quick finishes in the first three matches on Suzanne Lenglen meant Murray was on court today before 3.30pm local time.

That did not prevent a repeat of his early struggles in rounds one and two, the Scot facing a break point and several deuces in his opening two service games.

He held both and was gifted a break of his own in game five thanks to two bad errors from the Cypriot.

Murray's tactics were similar to those against Chela, the 23-year-old happy to trade groundstrokes with his opponent from the back of the court and wait for mistakes.

Baghdatis obliged again in game seven to hand him another two break points, Murray taking the second.

Serving out the set proved little more than a formality for the Scot, who claimed a fifth straight game.

Baghdatis dropped serve again in a marathon opening game of the second set, Murray finally breaking at the fifth time of asking when the Cypriot netted.

He would have been furious with himself, therefore, for limply handing the break back to his opponent in the very next game.

Murray fought back from 30-0 down to fashion two break points in game three but could not convert.

Baghdatis was looking disinterested one minute and all too eager the next, shipping and saving another two break points in an interminable fifth game before Murray punished a third with a fine forehand winner.

This time, he held his own serve and again before a delightful backhand volley set up two set points on the serve of Baghdatis, who double-faulted for a sixth time to gift him a 2-0 lead.

The second set had lasted a gruelling 56 minutes and Murray endured an alarming slump at the start of the third, falling 0-40 down before netting to hand Baghdatis a break to 15.

The Cypriot crashed himself from 30-0 up to 30-40 in the next before holding, but Murray was now really struggling on serve, Baghdatis all too easily securing a double-break and a 3-0 lead.

The 25th seed had upped the aggression and Murray was failing to respond, surrendering serve again for a 5-0 deficit.

Having seemingly given up on the set, Murray allowed his opponent to serve it out and regrouped for the fourth.

If that was the plan, it immediately backfired as he was broken courtesy of a double-fault.

Baghdatis showed some charity in the next to allow him to end his seven-game losing streak by breaking straight back.

Despite being taken to deuce, Murray then held for the first time in five service games.

Indeed, both men found holding uncharacteristically straightforward until Murray snatched Baghdatis' serve in game six courtesy of a wonderful crosscourt backhand the Cypriot simply could not handle.

Baghdatis was not even able to force his opponent to serve for the match, a Murray drop shot clinching it at the first time of asking.

Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
Arts and Entertainment
Mystery man: Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in '‘Gone Girl'
films... by the director David Fincher
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
stoptober... when the patch, gum and cold turkey had all faied
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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.

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?