Andy Murray reached the third round of the French Open after a very hard fought 4 set victory over Italian Potito Starache. He came from two breaks down in the third set to secure his victory 6-3 2-6 7-5 6-4.
The match was supposed to be a breeze for the 22 year old Scot and Murray started the match like it was going to be, but from what looked liked an only one-winner match, things turned disastrous. Murray was broken consecutive service games in the second set and found himself 5-1 down, Starache served out the set to win it 6-2.
Things went from bad to worst with Starache repeating the second set and taking an amazing 5-1 lead in the third. Things looked bleak for Murray as the Scot could not get his game going. But as we have seen from Murray before it’s often when he is backed into a corner that we then see his true colours. With Murray serving to stay in the third set, the Italian Starache secured another break point and his first third set point. Murray saved with a solid winner and finally he had to something to get pumped up about.
He saved his service game and forced Starache to serve out, where Murray final releases his big guns and Starache begins to show a little nerve. Some good volleying and a scorching backhand winner help see Murray claim his first break point since the first set. The Scot dually converts it with one of the most amazing passing shots you will likely see this week and the third set is still alive.
Starache is still 5-3 up and sloppy play be Murray allows the Italian another set point, Murray saves with a precise backhand down the line and two big serves see him hold his serve and force Starache to serve again for the set.
No way was Murray losing this game as he breaks the Italian to love and level the set at 5-5. The set was now only going one way and Murray held serve and broke again for the third consecutive time to win the set 7-5.
The fourth was a fairly deflated affair, Murray maintained decent form, but never quite reached the highs of the third set, the set went with serve and Murray secured the match in 10th game, with Starache serving to stay in the match, Murray produces a couple of stupendous returns to move to his first match point, Starache would save that ands then another before Murray hits a stunning cross court forehand on his third match point to clinch a fairly dramatic, and rather impressive, victory.
After the second round win Murray spoke to the media,
I got broken at the start of the second set and once I got broken he started to play a lot better. He managed to make me move a lot with his forehand but I still found a way to win. In five-set matches, the momentum always tends to shift. I was frustrated that I was playing well and let him back into the match. But I turned it around by playing more aggressive, playing the ball deep to his backhand and coming to the net a lot more. The most important thing is I found a way to win and I’m very happy to be in the next round.
Up next for Andy Murray in the third round is either Janko Tipsarevic, who beat 28th seed Feliciano Lopez – 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.
Andy Murray v Potito Starace Preview
Andy Murray will take on Italian Potito Starace in the second round of the 2009 French open at Roland Garros. The match will take place on Wednesday 27th May on the Phillipe Chatrier court, the match will be first on court, so will start approx 11am local time (10am UK Time).
27 year old Potito Starache from Benevento in Italy is currently the Italian no.3 and ranked 104 in the world, though he was previously Italian no.1 and ranked 27 in the world only 18 months ago, but a poor 2008 seen him dropped fairly dramatically down the rankings.
It’s the Italians 5th appearance at Roland Garros compared with Murray’s third. The duo have never made it by the third round, Starache has made it that far twice, losing to Roger Federer in 2007 and Marat Safin in 2004. Murray made it to the third round last year, losing to Nicolas Almagro. Both players other French Open performances have all been 1st round knock outs (Starache – 2006 & 2008, Murray – 2006).
Andy Murray and Potito Starache have never met before on the ATP tour. Murray enters the match as world number 3 with 32 wins and only 5 losses so far this year, compared with Starache’s 9 wins and 13 losses. It’s these numbers which make Andy Murray overwhelming odds on favorite to win tomorrow. You wont find much better than 1/20 from most bookmakers on a Murray victory after he destroyed Chela on Sunday. Though you will get slightly better odds on Betfair and you’ll get a £25 free bet when you sign up.
The only saving grace for Starache is that clay is easily his best surface, with all his significant wins coming on this surface. If you do fancy a bet on Starache make sure you go to Betfair as this is where you will easily get the best odds.
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