Murray eases through Paris opener

By for MurraysWorld.com on
Andy Murray opened his account in the BNP Paribas Masters with a fairly straightforward 7-5, 6-3 victory over home hopeful Paul-Henri Mathieu to book his place in round three.

It was a solid return for the Brit, having not played since his close defeat in the Shanghai final two and a half weeks ago. Murray served well throughout, firing down 12 aces and winning 84% of his first serve points, although he had more mixed success with his groundstrokes as he tried to find his rhythm.

Mathieu was riding high on confidence after reaching the semi-finals in Basel last week, and it was he who made the early pressure, earning a break point in Murray’s opening service game. But three successive aces on the ad side from the Brit rescued the situation, and his serve seemed to be firing from the off.

Murray was still trying to find his comfort zone under the lights, and it was the Frenchman who was looking to dictate the rallies early on. Both players were facing few problems on their serve, and the opening set seemed to be heading towards a tie-break. 

But as the set entered the business stages, Murray struck. Mathieu followed up a double fault with a forehand error to gift the third seed break points, and the Scot made no mistake, lobbing the Frenchman for the all important break. However just when it seemed the hard part was done, a couple of sloppy errors gave Mathieu a chance to break straight back. But Murray showed his ability to raise his game when it mattered, firing down a couple of big serves to fend off the break points and seal the opening set 7-5.

The US Open champion was looking more comfortable now, and successive backhand winners earned him a break in the opening game of the second set.  A love hold followed to make it five games in a row before Mathieu finally stopped the rot.

A delightful forehand down the line secured the double break two games later and Murray seemed to be racing away with it, but Mathieu wasn’t going down without a fight. Another sloppy game from the world number three saw the home favourite break straight back, which he followed up with a love game to cut Murray’s lead to just the single game.

Mathieu’s revival proved short-lived however, with Murray just about holding on to his serve courtesy of another couple of first serves before breaking Mathieu again for the match; the Frenchman double faulting on the final point.

In the third round Murray will face Polish high flier Jerzy Janowicz who upset 13th seed Marin Cilic in straight sets yesterday, having taken out Philipp Kohlschreiber in round one.
add comment | 14 comments
A very good report, giving a very clear picture of the match. It was a difficult first match against a player who was more used to the conditions and full of confidence having done well in Basel. Thought Andy played well and will be ready to face the Polish giant all 6ft 8 of him. What do they feed these tall guys on when they are growing up!!
October 31, 2012, 08:42 PM
By michelle

Excellent report which says it all.  Thanks Luke.
October 31, 2012, 08:55 PM
By Aileen

Cheers for the report.
October 31, 2012, 09:15 PM
By Mathew

Great report thanks.
October 31, 2012, 09:24 PM
By caroline

A much appreciate the report, Luke.  Thanks
October 31, 2012, 09:48 PM
By lashurst

Good to read report having missed it and even better to read andy's serve on song.
October 31, 2012, 10:07 PM
By Ruthie

Great report Luke.

I was a tiny bit surprised that Andy's FSP was only around 55%. It seemed higher to me, although he was superb to win such a high percentage of points with it. He was serving aces so well,especially in tight moments, so the serve is clearly on song.

I feel sure Andy will get even better now that first match is done.
October 31, 2012, 10:17 PM
By teejay1

Just back at base after 15 hrs at the tennis.  I screamed myself hoarse, one little voice against the Paris bongo drums.  Luckily no-one lynched me.  Yes,  I was very grateful Murray's serve was on song because his groundstrokes didn't kick in until mid 2nd set.  Utter thrill - proper heart pounding stuff.  And I get to do it all again tomorrow.  Yay
October 31, 2012, 11:27 PM
By circe

Just back at base after 15 hrs at the tennis.  I screamed myself hoarse, one little voice against the Paris bongo drums.  Luckily no-one lynched me.  Yes,  I was very grateful Murray's serve was on song because his groundstrokes didn't kick in until mid 2nd set.  Utter thrill - proper heart pounding stuff.  And I get to do it all again tomorrow.  Yay
Just keep on screaming tomorrow circe. Smile  I'm not sure I would have been as brave in that crowd they're attitude was so unsporting.  Thankfully Andy won't be playing a Frenchman tomorrow.
November 01, 2012, 01:11 AM
By Aileen

Just back at base after 15 hrs at the tennis.  I screamed myself hoarse, one little voice against the Paris bongo drums.  Luckily no-one lynched me.  Yes,  I was very grateful Murray's serve was on song because his groundstrokes didn't kick in until mid 2nd set.  Utter thrill - proper heart pounding stuff.  And I get to do it all again tomorrow.  Yay

Good for you circe! You should bring a loud horn with you, or a big poster, so we know it's you.
(Although if it were me, I'd be the one stealing the bongo... and getting turfed out by Security.Very Happy)
November 01, 2012, 01:22 AM
By scotnadian

add comment | 14 comments