French Open: Andy Murray beats Simone Bolelli to make round three

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Roland Garros
Murray safely through to round three

Andy Murray moved into round three of the French Open with a scrappy straight-sets win over Italy's Simone Bolelli on a blustery day in Paris.

The British number one, seeded fourth, won 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 7-5 and goes on to face Michael Berrer in the last 32 after the German beat France's Arnaud Clement in four sets.

And Murray's draw opened up further late on Thursday when possible quarter-final opponent Jurgen Melzer, the eighth seed, suffered a shock five-set defeat by Czech world number 111, Lukas Rosol.

Murray went into his match with a 2-0 record against Bolelli, who has slipped to 126 in the rankings from a top-40 place two years ago, and everything pointed to a straightforward day for the Scot.

After practising on the same court as Bolelli in the morning, as part of a four trying to gauge the conditions on the Court Philippe Chatrier, the atmosphere remained muted when the pair returned a couple of hours later.

Murray's first competitive appearance this year on the main stadium court began in low-key fashion, with much of the already sparse crowd having headed out for refreshment following Kim Clijsters' shock defeat in the preceding match.

Murray delighted with second-round victory

On a cold, grey day, with the wind swirling around, it was no great surprise that Murray was hardly bristling with intensity at the start, but with both men racking up the unforced errors it was the Briton's erratic serving that made the early difference.

Murray fell behind twice in the first set as three double faults at key times hurt him, but both times Bolelli - described by Murray before the match as a "flashy" player - allowed him back in as he made twice as many errors as winners.

The Italian let two more break points slip by with wayward forehands at 5-5 but held Murray at bay when the Scot earned a couple of set points in the following game, bringing a scrappy set to the appropriate conclusion of a tie-break.

After the pair exchanged poor drop shots at the start, Murray moved ahead at 4-2 when Bolelli put another forehand into the tramlines and a welcome ace helped him towards three more set points, the first of which was converted with a rasping backhand winner.

Having faced nine of the 11 break point on offer in the first set, Murray was fairly fortunate to come through it and he set about making amends with a love break at the start of the second, only for his serving problems to reappear.

Two double faults in a row allowed Bolelli to level at 2-2 but, as in his previous round against Eric Prodon, the Briton was able to go through the gears when necessary, a sweeping backhand followed by a Bolelli double fault re-establishing Murray's advantage in game seven.

There were no more wobbles as he saw out the set, one backhand lob in the final game a spectacular highlight, but the uneven nature of the match continued in the third.

Murray looked poised to finish the job at 3-3, 0-40, only for Bolelli to reel off five straight points and then grab the break himself - to the Briton's very obvious displeasure.

For the second time in the match the Italian had his chance to serve out a set but again he played a poor game, with three errors gifting Murray a chance he gratefully took, and after the Scot converted his 13th break point of the day to move 6-5 up he was finally able to serve out the match.

"The wind was swirling the whole time," Murray said afterwards. "It was changing during the rallies so you'd think on one shot 'I've got the wind with me' and it was changing, so there's no real rhythm.

"Your legs get tired too because you're doing so many small adjustment steps to try and get yourself in the right position - it was really tricky today."

He added: "It's tough, there are a lot of scrappy points and scrappy games and you just have to try and chase as many balls down as possible. Today I was able to do that.

"I did a lot of running, especially early on in the match. Mentally it's tough because Simone's a very, very good player on the clay and the wind is a very big leveller.

"It's difficult to get a lot on your serve, which I was able to do at the end of the match. He hit the ball through the wind definitely better than I did."