By Ros Satar – In Indian Wells
- Andy Murray def. Marcel Granollers 6-4 7-6(3)
- Will face Federico Delbonis in the third round
INDIAN WELLS, USA – Andy Murray edged past Marcel Granollers to book his place in the BNP Paribas Open third round.
It was by no means an easy feat for the World No. 2, who went down a break early in the first set as the Spaniard played aggressively from the outset taking an early advantage as Murray sought to settle into his game.
Maybe that was what the Brit needed to galvanise himself as he broke the Spaniard twice in a row to take the lead and eventually the first set.
It was a more competitive affair in the second set, with neither player giving any ground in the tricky, windy conditions. While Granollers threatened to break, he could not convert, although Murray found himself wasting similar chances for a opportunity to serve out the second set.
With Granollers holding on to force a tie-break, even so the momentum shifted before finally Murray was able to break the Spaniard twice, taking the one match point to ease into the third round.
He said, after the match: “It was tough because obviously the ball travels through the air pretty quick here. And then it was very windy, so blowing from — so the end we walk on to the court from you were playing into the wind. It’s such a huge contrast from one end to the other because of how the air is here.
“So when you’re playing with the wind it’s really flying on you and you feel like if you barely touch the ball it’s flying a lot. Then from the other side, you know, it’s completely opposite. You really need to give the ball a big, big hit to get it deep.
“Much different conditions to what I have obviously been practicing and playing in in the last five weeks against a, you know, tough sort of unorthodox player. He’s got quite a different game. He’s very smart player, as well, intelligent player, and often makes the right decisions.”
Indian Wells has not always been the happiest of hunting grounds for the British No. 1, with two opening round losses in succession in 2011 and 2012 (after losing the finals and semi-finals at the Australian Open respectively to Novak Djokovic).
Having already played and lost in the doubles this week (partnering Colin Fleming), he offered an insight as to why Indian Wells is a tricky start to the hard-court spring swing.
“I haven’t necessarily played my best here over the years, but I think because the conditions are extremely lively and the balls here are so, so fast, maybe the quality of tennis isn’t as high as it is in other places when it’s a bit slower. I think when the conditions are calm, I think the quality of tennis is high. But when it gets windy here it can be difficult to play really well, I think. It does make it challenging.”
Murray will play Delbonis on Monday.