Andy Murray scrapped his way into the third round of the Madrid Masters with a 7-6 (11-9) 6-4 win over Simone Bolelli.
Murray, the defending Madrid champion, all be it on a new surface and new place on the ATP calender, was made to fight hard for his second round win (Murray’s first match after bye in first round) against the world number 61 in the first set, coming through several mini-breaks in the tie-break.
The second was a little simpler with one break of serve securing victory.
Murray, the new world number three, though still seeded 4 here, will play Tommy Robredo in the last 16 on Thursday.
There were also wins for second seed Roger Federer and seventh seed Fernando Verdasco, but ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lost to Ivan Ljubicic.
This is the second time Murray and Bolelli have met and surprisingly it was at the same stage of the same event last year, that match though was indoors on hard courts in October and with the Scot leading 6-0 2-1 the Italian retired.
Murray went on to the victory that week and secured his second career masters title. Repeating this feat will be an almost impossible task with the tournament now switched to clay and “Clay God” Rafael Nadal in such devistating form. Though most experts admit that perhaps Murray more than anyone could upset the Spaniard, it would take an allmighty performance, the likes that the Scot has failed to produce on clay to date.