Murray wins after amazing comeback

Andy Murray produced a repeat of his epic Wimbledon comeback against Richard Gasquet today to avoid crashing out of the French Open in the first round.

Murray's nightmare draw looked like living up to its billing when Gasquet led by two sets and a break on Suzanne Lenglen Court.



But, as in their last meeting in the fourth round at SW19 two years ago, the infamously fragile Frenchman suffered a spectacular collapse as fourth seed Murray won 4-6 6-7 (5/7) 6-4 6-2 6-1 in four hours and four minutes.



The 23-year-olds had enjoyed contrasting fortunes since their Wimbledon clash, the Scot establishing himself in the world's top five and his opponent falling to 68th following injury and a ban for inadvertently taking cocaine.



But Gasquet won his first ATP title for three years at the Nice Open on Saturday, his 10th victory in a row.



Showing no early signs of the leg injury or fatigue which caused him to ask for this afternoon's contest to be delayed until tomorrow, the former world number seven began confidently.



He wasted three break points in the fourth but was showing flashes of his brilliant best on the backhand side.



He did hand his opponent a first break point in game seven but slammed the door as the set looked to be heading for a tie-break.



That was until, serving at 5-4 down, Murray double-faulted, Gasquet hit a brilliant backhand winner to gain two set points and the Scot volleyed limply into the net.



Murray conceded another break point in the fourth game of the second set but saved that before wasting one himself in the next.



Neither player was serving well and Murray repeatedly smacked himself in the face after his second double-fault handed Gasquet break point in game six before he held on.



He was forced to do the same in game 12 to take the set to a tie-break.



That saw Murray twice fight back from mini-breaks - including saving a set point - but he lost the initiative once more and this time Gasquet made him pay.



An angry Murray returned to his chair, complaining bitterly at the umpire at what he claimed were delaying tactics from his opponent, saying: "Every single game in the match bar one, he's stopped me when I'm ready."



Murray was now in an identical position to Wimbledon two years ago, needing to produce something special or hope his opponent suffered one of his famous collapses.



The Scot's pitiful first-serve percentage of 39% from the second set immediately improved but that did not stop him being broken in game five of the third.



The Parisien crowd were now firmly on their man's side, their chants inspiring him to 15-40 on the Murray serve, the Scot gifting Gasquet the second of the two break points.



However, the Frenchman immediately handed Murray three break-back points, teasing him by saving two before choking on the third.



He also conceded three more in game eight, a double-fault giving the Scot the opportunity to serve for the set.



Murray blew it, shouting "woeful!" at himself as he returned to his chair, but Gasquet duly dropped serve for a third time in a row to hand him the set.



The echoes of Wimbledon 2008 were becoming hard to ignore but Gasquet showed some resolve to earn break point on the Murray serve in game three in the fourth.



Superb defence from the Scot forced a smash error and he held, which proved crucial because Gasquet immediately dropped serve himself as his disintegration continued.



That was partly down to some good play from Murray, who clinched the game with a finely-crafted point, finished off by a simple volley.



Chants of "Richard, Richard, Richard" resumed as Gasquet served at 5-2 to stay in the set but this time there was no inspiration as he slumped to 15-40, Murray levelling the match at the second attempt to force a decider.



Gasquet received a massage on the leg he hurt in Nice before the start of the fifth, having already taken painkillers earlier in the match.



After several minutes' treatment, he was ready to continue and he showed early signs of rediscovering some form, forcing Murray to save a break point in game three.



But his own serve was another matter, backhand error handing Murray his serve on a plate in games four and six.



Serving for the match, the Scot wasted little time completing another remarkable comeback.



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
and  

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

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders