By Joe Bailey
Andy Murray today gave a masterclass in overcoming a big-serving opponent while moving into the fourth round of the French Open. He beat Croatia's Ivo Karlovic in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).

After flirting outrageously with the prospect of an early exit in rounds one and two, this impressive win was just what the doctor ordered for Murray. Serving and returning well throughout, he neutralised Karlovic's main weapon and earned a decent rest  to recover from this week's exertions before the next round.

Murray started the match faster than the Eurostar, a superb passing shot on the chase racking up his first break point at 1-0 up. He had to convert that break via deuce, then stretched his legs further to jump out to a 5-0 lead.

By Katie Finnegan
Andy Murray had to battle back from two sets to one down to beat wildcard Mathias Bourgue in the French Open second round, eventually prevailing 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

On paper, this was a comfortable draw for Murray. Bourgue, ranked 164, had never played a top 50 opponent before. He had never played in the main draw of a slam prior to this week. But in tennis, and especially in slams, anything can happen. To his credit, Bourgue played an excellent match, at a level well above his ranking.

Murray had looked in firm control at the beginning, taking the first set 6-2. When he went up 2-0 in the second set, he was on course for a routine win. But then the tone of the match changed.

The world number 2 lost concentration, a double...
By Nigel Graber
In a circus act of a tennis match, Andy Murray eventually clambered over the hula hoops, diabolo sticks and dropped clubs of an encounter that doctors might describe as ‘standard for Stepanek’.

The Scot won through this French Open first round 3-6 3-6 6-0 6-3 7-5.

Radek Stepanek is a prickly character who delights in celebrating every winning point as if he’s just unicycled up K2. And, over the course of this two-day marathon, he was consistently successful in squirting water from his buttonhole right into his opponent’s eye.

As for Murray, every time he parped his car horn, the doors blew off. That was especially evident during the first two sets, where the Scot hit short, inviting the Czech to exploit the net and carve crazy dro...
By Nigel Graber
If Andy Murray is to win the French Open this year, he won’t need to beat Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals to do it. The Brit must have been relieved to be handed a scheduled semi against out-of-form Stan Wawrinka in today’s draw.

Before he gets that far, though, there could be giant hurdles to overcome in the shape of Ivo Karlovic and John Isner, while Kei Nishikori or Nick Kyrgios could lurk in the quarter-finals.

At least Murray has a relatively gentle introduction to the Parisian clay, with a qualifier in round one followed by either French wildcard Matthias Bourgue or another qualifier in round two.

Murray’s possible route to Roland Garros glory:

R1 Qualifier
R2 Bourge/qualifier
R3 Karlovic/Montanes
By Phil Messenger
Andy Murray today defeated Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-3 to win the  Internazionali BNL d'Italia Masters title. The pair have met 14 times since Murray won the 2013 Wimbledon title, and this is only the second time the Brit has come out on top.

That this should happen on Clay - historically a surface Murray has struggled on - augurs well for the French Open later this month.

Murray showed none of the timidity that hampered him in the early stages of the Madrid Open final last week. The world number three opened in emphatic fashion, holding to love and immediately earning three break points on Djokovic's serve.  The Serb managed to fend Murray off, but the reprieve was brief. More break points came at 2-1 and this time Murray  made no mistake. A heavy topspin forehand loade...
By Joe Bailey
Andy Murray moved into his first Rome Masters final by beating lucky loser Lucas Pouille 6-2 6-1.

On the eve of his 29th birthday and after a rain delay forced a late start to proceedings, Murray clinched the first break of serve to move ahead 3-1.

A further squall of wet weather swept through to push the players off the court for 15 minutes, but Murray's fire was not dampened as he broke again and went on to take the set 6-2.

Beaten in qualifying by Murray's first round opponent, Mikhail Kukushkin, Pouille would not have expected to be involved in the tournament proper by this point. Having benefitted from a walkover victory in the previous round, the end of the Roman road was in sight for him as Murray refused to let up. With som...
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