Murray battles past Kohlschreiber

Published: Thursday 7th May 2015 by The News Editor

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Andy Murray beat Philipp Kohlschreiber for the second time in three days to advance to the third round of the Mutu a Madrid Open.

The delayed match, which began shortly after 1am local time, looked like it would be over quickly when Murray made a lightning start but Kohlschreiber dug in and exhibited a wide range of shots to take it to three sets before tiredness took hold of the German.

Second seed Murray’s 6-4 3-6 6-0 triumph came hot on the heels after he secured his first-ever clay title at Kohlschreiber’s expense in Munich on Monday, but this was a clash that was made even harder by the fact it dragged out into the early hours of Thursday morning.

The 27-year-old Scot flew out of the blocks on the Manolo Santana Centre Court, racing into a 3-0 lead with ferocious power and precision as he seemingly channelled his frustrations at the three-hour delay in the perfect way.

But Kohlschreiber, who beat Colombian qualifier Alejandro Falla in the first round on Tuesday, proved he was no push over and soon began to showcase his diverse range of shots, hitting a series of sumptuous slices from the net as he pulled it back to 3-2.

After the flurry of early breaks, the rest of the first set remained on serve, with Murray’s earlier joy on Kohlschreiber’s serve proving enough for him to edge it 6-4.

Murray did well to hold off the German’s fightback in the opening set, but Kohlschreiber finally had some joy at the start of the second, taking a 2-0 lead.

The 31-year-old world number 24 held serve and then broke Murray at the second opportunity in remarkable fashion. First his sliced backhand clipped the net, causing Murray to scramble and just about return, but the German was able to clip a demoralising winner past Murray in reply.

He then mirrored Murray’s start to the first set by taking a 3-0 lead in the second, before the Scot fought back to 3-1 and crafted two break points. But where the German was able to pull back to 3-2 in the opening set, Murray failed to convert and he went 4-1 down instead.

Murray rallied slightly to pull it back to 4-3 but Kohlschreiber was unmoved and forced a decider by taking the second set 6-3.

Both men were visibly tired at the start of the third set, but Murray found some reserves to nudge himself into a 3-0 lead, with Kohlschreiber’s under-hit drop shot from deep handing him the early break before he held to love in his second service game.

Having learnt his lesson from the first set Murray did not give his opponent a sniff and moved to 5-0 up, before breaking again to wrap up the third set and the match as Kohlschreiber wilted.

Murray will now face Marcel Granollers in the next round on Thursday and he faces a race against time to recover after this late finish.

Published: Thursday 7th May 2015 by The News Editor

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