Murray takes scenic route to victory

By for on
Surrounded by the stunning mountains of Central California, Andy Murray took the scenic route to victory this afternoon against 83rd ranked Evgeny Donskoy. The rusty-looking Scot advanced to the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, beating the Russian number five 5-7 6-2 6-2.

Although the encounter was a ragged one from Murray’s point of view, the final two sets will be what he would have expected from a match-up against a mid-ranked big-hitter. The world number three would doubtless take the 5-7 first-set reverse as a trade-off for his seven-week respite from competitive action.

The afternoon was off to a bad start for Murray in the broiling Californian sun, as he slipped to a 1-5 first-set deficit, shanking groundshots wildly into the tramlines and generally looking like a man desperately searching for some kind of form.

When he pulled back to 5-5, the Scot seemed to have found it. But Donskoy, looking like the love child of Jimmy Connors and Tim from The Office, was a man possessed throughout the opening set.

With his careless-match-in-a-box-of-fireworks game, the Russian smoked some outrageous winners, not least a magnificent, towering lob at 6-5. Donskoy followed that up with a nuclear forehand down the line to bring up three set points, converting on the third with a thundering backhand pass that left Murray floundering at the net.

From there, though, it was one-way traffic. The Scot, who can overtake Federer as world number two in this event, began to impose his bigger, more-rigid matchplay on the Russian. Donskoy’s game began to look wild and ragged and Murray surged to a 5-2 lead, sealing the second set with a colossal forehand into the corner.

It was more of the same in set three. The British number one kept Donskoy off balance with a barrage of searing groundshots and exquisite dropshots. Murray raced to a 5-2 lead and concluded an entertaining match with a huge serve that the Russian bunted long.

The victory should help erase some nasty memories for Murray, who has tasted first-match defeats here both last year against Garcia-Lopez and in 2011, when Donald Young took advantage of the Scot’s post-Australian Open-final malaise.

A relieved Murray said afterwards, "I've been playing sets in practice, but nothing beats getting on a match court. I was definitely nervous, but I just need to get a few matches under my belt.”

Next up is Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu, a 7-6 7-6 winner over Martin Klizan.
Any mention of the celebrity yelping lines person?
March 10, 2013, 10:52 PM
By Connor

Well he got there in the end-and what would being an Andy Murray follower be without a little first set drama?! Smile
March 10, 2013, 10:56 PM
By Hazybear

March 10, 2013, 10:58 PM
By ProdigyEng

Just glad to finally get that monkey off his back. Solid performance after that start. Won 16 of the last 22 games.
March 10, 2013, 10:59 PM
By TheMadHatter


It was a good match. Both played well.
March 10, 2013, 10:59 PM
By Connor

Overall it went pretty much as I expected - slow start, steady pressure, snuff. Didn't expect Andy to drop a set though.
March 10, 2013, 11:06 PM
By Fiverings

Well done Andy,you got there in the end .Better next time.
March 10, 2013, 11:07 PM
By iamabritt

Excellent match from when I started watching at 3-5 in the first set. Donskoy was impressive, some of the rallies were superb and brought out the best in Andy. Lovely to see him using the back hand up the line, whenever Donskoy even thought about running round his backhand.  I've missed the big man, but I don't mind, cause it's all the sweeter when he comes back!
March 10, 2013, 11:07 PM
By lgriev10

All that fresh desert air has done something to his head!

Plenty good stuff in this match to make your puns and analogies Nigel.
March 10, 2013, 11:16 PM
By lashurst

Overall I'd say decent enough performance after 6 weeks off. Andy was ridiculously bad first 6 games but from them on began to play better and better. A couple of freak games at 5 all allowed Donskoy to take the first set but from then on it was one way traffic. I'm confident we'll see Andy in the semi's.

March 10, 2013, 11:20 PM
By Moozza

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