Murray wins late-night battle at Paris Masters

Having started his opening match in the Paris Masters shortly before midnight here yesterday, Andy Murray appeared determined not to hang around at the Palais des Omnisports. The 22-year-old Scot, however, found himself drawn into a desperately tight three-set contest with James Blake before winning 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 to earn a place against Radek Stepanek in today’s third round. The match finished at 1.45am after two hours and 13 minutes.

Murray had arrived here only 48 hours earlier after his victory in the Valencia Open on Sunday. With the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London only 11 days away, his main concern will be to go to the O2 Arena in the best possible condition.



Having taken a six-week break because of a wrist injury, Murray was understandably stiff after playing five matches in six days in Spain – after one match he said he felt “like a 50-year-old man” – and there were times here when he did not move with his usual freedom.



After scuttling across court to hit one lovely winning forehand cross-court pass in the second set the Scot grimaced and seemed to be feeling his groin. He also fell heavily on the penultimate point of the second set tie-break, cutting his right leg in the process.



Blake has had a poor time of it since losing to Murray in the final of the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club, winning two matches in succession only once in the subsequent five months. The 29-year-old American, who was world No 4 three years ago, has slipped to No 41 in the rankings.



Murray broke to lead 3-1 in the first set, only for Blake to hit back immediately. Another break of serve restored the world No 4’s advantage at 5-3 and he promptly served out for the set. The second set was much closer. Murray took it into a tie-break in impressive fashion with four successive aces, but Blake, hitting his forehand with great power, made the first mini-break and was never behind, winning 7-5 to force the match into a decider.



The final set followed a similar pattern. Murray, who hit 22 aces in the match, rarely looked in trouble on his serve and this time got his nose in front in the tie-break. When Blake served at 4-5 Murray hit a winning backhand cross-court pass and went on to convert his first match point when Blake hit a backhand long.

Suggested Topics
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Sport
Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
news
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Antoine Griezmann has started two of France’s four games so far
sport
Life and Style
techYahoo Japan launches service to delete your files and email your relatives when you die
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor