Murray lives to fight another day

Murray lives to fight another day

Defending champion Wawrinka advances; Wickmayer upsets Makarova

Murray lives to fight another day

Andy Murray avoided suffering his earliest Grand Slam defeat for eight years by clawing his way into the French Open third round with a five-set win over swashbuckling French journeyman Mathias Bourgue on Wednesday.

The British second seed, who survived a five-set thriller in the first round, eventually triumphed 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Murray appeared to be on course for an easy victory when he was a set and 2-0 up against the 164th-ranked wildcard who had never played a Tour-level match before this week.

But the Scot went into a mid-match meltdown as Bourgue won eight games in a row, including 16 successive points, by torturing his more celebrated rival with a mix of devilish dropshots, flying forehands and venomous volleys.

The 22-year-old Frenchman kept up his antics to take the third set before Murray's survival skills finally kicked in.

After saving three break points in the opening game of the fourth set, which dragged on for 10 minutes, Murray found a way to crack Bourgue's serve for a 3-1 lead and then clung on to secure the victory.

Murray's life is unlikely to get much easier in the next round as he will face 37-year-old big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic, the oldest man to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for 25 years, for a place in the last 16.

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka avoided a repeat on Wednesday of his first-round scare, though he was still made to work hard in a straight-sets win over Japan's Taro Daniel.

The Swiss third seed won 7-6 (7), 6-3, 6-4 on a sunny Court Suzanne Lenglen and is now on a six-match winning streak on clay.

Croatian Karlovic came through a marathon five-setter against Australian Jordan Thompson.

Karlovic, seeded 27, banged down 41 aces in a 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (3), 6-7 (4), 12-10 victory against the 22-year-old wildcard.

In the women’s section, former finalist Simona Halep survived a first-set wobble to reach the third round for only the second time in her career with a 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas on Wednesday.

The Romanian sixth seed surrendered her serve twice in the opening four games to trail 4-1 but delved into her wealth of experience to finally subdue her 90th-ranked opponent 7-5 in the tiebreak.

 Spanish fourth seed Garbine Muguruza strolled into the third round when she eased past French wildcard Myrtille Georges 6-2, 6-0.

Muguruza, who reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros in the past two years, will next face Belgium's unseeded Yanina Wickmayer, who beat Ekaterina Makarova 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Muguruza, looking to become the first Spanish woman to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 1998, broke in the sixth game and wrapped the opening set by winning the last 12 points.

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