• French Open, Day Five

Murray defies injury to secure comeback win

ESPN staff
May 31, 2012 « Swann: Warne comparisons a 'wind-up' | Chartbeat test »

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Andy Murray shrugged off a back injury to book his place in the third round of the French Open after battling through adversity to beat Jarkko Nieminen at Roland Garros.

Murray appeared to be in severe discomfort after dropping the opening set, but he dug deep to claim a 1-6 6-4 6-1 6-2 victory.

Receiving treatment from the trainer having failed to hold serve in the opening set, it looked like Murray would be forced to surrender defeat, but he soldiered on to set up a third-round clash with Colombia's Santiago Giraldo.

Murray pulled out of the Madrid Open earlier this month with a back niggle, but insisted he had shrugged off the problem heading to Roland Garros. However, he was clearly in some discomfort from the start, and trailing 0-4, called for the trainer.

He returned to the court and managed to grab a break back, but the service motion was clearly troubling him as he dropped serve for a third time to allow Nieminen to comfortably wrap up the first set.

Murray began to exploit his superior skill to compensate for his lack of mobility, and swinging at the ball like he had nothing to lose, began to find the corners.

The turning point in the match came in the third game of the second set, when Murray finally held serve at the fifth time of asking. Nieminen staved off three break points on his subsequent service game, but he was helpless to prevent an increasingly assured Murray breaking back next time around.

From then on it was one-way traffic - Murray grabbing a late break to snatch the second set before taking control of the third. Nieminen stemmed a run of seven games in Murray's favour to hold serve, but the fourth seed was firmly in ascendancy as he raced through the third set.

Nieminen did offer some resistance as Murray edged closer to victory, but the British No. 1 showcased some of his best tennis, sending the world No. 48 scrambling around the court with a superb array of shots. Nieminen, by this point a beaten man, contributed to his own downfall with 16 unforced errors in the final set.

With Murray safely through to round three, albeit with concerns over his fitness, he will now face Santiago Giraldo, who ousted No. 25 seed Bernard Tomic 6-4 6-1 6-3. Murray thrashed Giraldo 6-1 6-2 in Barcelona last month.

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