By Jake Davies

  • [2] Andy Murray def. [WC] Mathias Bourgue 6-2 2-6 4-6 6-2 6-3
  • Big serving Ivo Karlovic is Murray’s next opponent in Round 3
  • Edmund bows out to John Isner in three sets.

PARIS,FRANCE- Andy Murray survived another major scare in his pursuit of the Roland Garros title and books his place into the third round.

Amid a lot of speculation regarding the split between Andy Murray and former coach Amelie Mauresmo, there was a plethora of question marks surrounding the Rome champion leading into Roland Garros. After Murray’s five set epic with Czech veteran Radek Stepanek, little did many know that French wild card and World Number 164 Mathias Bourgue would cause so many problems and pose considerable questions to the British Number 1.

The Scot seemed to be on his way to a comfortable and straightforward match when he rallied to a 6-2 *2-0 lead over Bourgue. However, like the flick of a switch, Bourgue suddenly began firing off both wings and evidently took the match to Murray, who slowly became more cautious and tentative to the situation that laid in front of him. Bourgue seemingly enjoying the velocity he can produce on his backhand side, started to show signs of improvement and consistency on his dangerous forehand. Murray was eventually staring at a two sets to one deficit and another titanic comeback would be required in Paris.

With the momentum firmly in favour of the Frenchman, he manufactured break points early in the fourth set, but couldn’t produce the all important and crucial break. As the match continued to play out, the pressure began to tell as Bourgue realized he was in a winning position and that the victory was in sight. The know-how of Murray in the fifth and deciding set pulled him over the line, whereas Bourgue not only was playing his first career five set match, but he also had never experienced four set tennis in his career- that spoke volumes as Murray upped his intensity in the latter moments.

Murray failed to serve for the match successfully, but created enough distance between him and his opponent upon the second time of asking to win it 6-3 in the fifth set.

Murray vs [27] Ivo Karlovic

In the third round, Murray will be facing a tall proposition in the twenty-seventh seed Ivo Karlovic. Historically it’s been a good match up for Murray, who has a 6-0 head to head lead over the Croatian. It can be argued that Karlovic has competed closely with Murray in the past, including two four set battles at Wimbledon in 2012 and last year in the Round of 16.

Admittedly Karlovic prefers playing on the grass and hard courts, in which he gets the most out of his serve and enables him to play fast-paced tennis. Karlovic has had a lackluster first half to the season, mainly due to an ongoing knee injury that’s contributed to early retirements in matches. Murray should feel relieved to have less of a physical challenge in the third round that Mathias Bourgue provided in the previous stage.

Prediction: Murray in four sets.

Edmund bows out in Round two

Kyle Edmund lost his second round bout with John Isner on day four of Roland Garros. Despite the loss in straight sets to the American, Edmund will take positives in a campaign that saw him win another Grand Slam main draw to build confidence leading into Wimbledon. In addition to this, Edmund finished the singles campaign healthy and free from the ankle injury that bothered him in Nice last week. In previous years, Edmund’s body has broken down in big moments in his young career, the fact that he could come through a grand slam event unscathed further shows the development and progress he is continuing to make at the highest level in our sport.

The French Open continues on Thursday May 26th.

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