French Open: Andy Murray sees off Martin Klizan in a four-set battle

World number one Andy Murray came from a set down to defeat Martin Klizan, 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(3), in the second round of Roland Garros. The Brit will face off against Juan Martin del Potro for a place in the fourth round.

Klizan broke serve early in the first set with some massive hitting from the baseline allowing him to dictate play. Although Murray was able to break back as the Slovak was serving for the set, he played a terrible tiebreak and lost the opener after over an hour of play.The Brit bounced back and cruised through the second and third sets after a change of tactic on return. He stepped further back behind the baseline to return the serve of Klizan, allowing him more time to set up for his shots. The fourth set was much like the first in that Klizan had an early break and lost it, but this time Murray stepped up in the tiebreak and played some of his best tennis, securing the win in style to set up a blockbuster third-round encounter with Del Potro.

Shaky start for Murray

The world number one had a slow start as he served to open the match, giving Klizan a look at a break point. The opportunity was quickly lost for the Slovak as he sent a forehand into the net and Murray came through the mini-battle on his second game point with a winner into the open court. The world number fifty sailed through his first service game as he ripped forehands from the back of the court to take control early in the rallies. Klizan kept his momentum going into the next game, stepping into the court and dictating with huge power on the forehand to earn himself three break points. An error from Murray on the second gave the Slovak the first break of the match and a 2-1 lead.  

Klizan continued his excellent form as he easily consolidated the break. Murray followed with his first easy service game, striking a signature inch-perfect lob on his way through the love hold. The Slovak struggled in his next service game as two double faults and an unforced error left Murray with opportunities at deuce, but he recovered and sailed through the next two points to secure a 4-2 lead. A scorching backhand crosscourt winner followed by an ace secured another good hold for the Brit to stay a game away from his opponent.  

Klizan strikes a backhand (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Klizan strikes a backhand (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

There was still no way through on return for Murray as the power from Klizan's forehand allowed him to boss points from the baseline, coming through on serve again to force Murray to serve to stay in the set. The world number one showed off his outstanding defensive skills as he battled from the baseline to force the world number fifty to serve out the opening set. The Brit struck a backhand return winner to bring up two break points. The first was saved by Klizan with a drop shot winner but an unforced error on the second gave Murray the break and a lifeline in the first set, leveling the pair at 5-5. 

Klizan threw his racket in frustration as Murray quickly consolidated the break to go into the lead. A couple of nicely timed drop shots from the Slovak brought him through a tense service game to send the pair into a tiebreak. The first mini-break went the way of the world number fifty as he fired another forehand winner to take a 3-1 lead. Murray struck a forehand winner of his own to stay in touch but was unable to take back the break and Klizan moved ahead to 5-2. The Brit hammered down a huge serve on the first of his two service points but a double fault on the second left Klizan with set points. The Slovak wasted no time in taking the first, striking a smash winner to take the set 7-6(3) after just over an hour of play. 

Murray levels the match

The second set got underway with a couple of comfortable holds for each man. At 2-2, Murray took a lead on return with a missed drop shot from Klizan but the Slovak quickly recovered the deficit with another huge forehand winner. An unforced error from Klizan gave Murray a break point and the world number one made the most of it, deep hitting giving him the early break. 

Murray stretches for the ball (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Murray stretches for the ball (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Murray chased down a drop shot and fired a crosscourt forehand winner to easily consolidate his lead at 4-2. The Brit's excellent return game was in full flow as Klizan's form took a slight dip, allowing Murray to take control and break again for the opportunity to serve out the set. It wasn't all plain sailing as Murray looked to close out the second set, a couple of loose errors gave his opponent two break back points. The first was erased with an ace and outstanding defense on the second brought the pair to deuce. The world number one took control in the next two points and closed out the set 6-2 to level the match.  

World number one in control

The Brit looked much more relaxed as he returned to begin the third set, quickly earning three break points. An unforced error erased the first but a forehand passing shot winner on the second gave Murray his sixth game in a row and the perfect start to the set. Another well-timed drop shot from Klizan on return gave him the opportunity to steal the break back immediately. The Slovak tried to break through Murray's defense with a string of bullying forehands but the Brit kept getting the ball back and eventually drew the error that brought them to deuce, then coming through the mini-battle on serve to consolidate his early lead. 

Murray serves on Court Suzanne Lenglen (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Murray serves on court Suzanne Lenglen (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Klizan ended Murray's run of games at seven as he got his first game of the set on the board. The Brit kept hold of his lead as he cruised through a love hold to go 3-1 ahead. The set was quickly slipping away from the Slovak as Murray broke again and easily held serve to force his opponent to serve to stay in the set. The world number fifty got his second hold of the set with a love game, but it was too late for a comeback as Murray closed out the set 6-2 with another impressive hold.  

Battling for victory

The fourth set looked to be taking the same course as the third as Murray earned a break point in the opening game. Klizan hung on and came through the mini-battle, pushing Murray back with huge groundstrokes and using the drop shot to his advantage. The pattern continued to work for the Slovak as he came through a tough game on return to break for a 2-0 lead. The lead looked to be in danger as Murray battled on return but the drop shot continued to work well for Klizan as he fought for a 3-0 advantage.  

Murray got his first game of the set on the scoreboard with a solid hold. A break opportunity followed for the Brit but a bad miss seen it quickly disappear as Klizan hung on to his lead. Good serving from the world number one seen him through another hold but the Slovak’s huge groundstrokes meant that there was still no way through on return, as he kept his lead and forced Murray to serve to stay in the set. The world number fifty threw everything at Murray as he was serving to stay in it, taking the first two points with huge returns. Klizan couldn't take advantage and Murray reeled off the next four points, securing the game with excellent defense and a drop shot winner.  

Murray serves to Klizan (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Murray serves to Klizan (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

A loose game from Klizan allowed Murray to pounce on return, taking the break back to bring the pair back on serve late in the set. The Brit was made to fight to hold his serve in the following game as Klizan continued to trouble him. Klizan was two points away from forcing a fifth set at deuce, but Murray came through another tightly contested game to level the set at 5-5. Two break points followed for the world number one but an incredible effort from Klizan seen him through another close mini-battle on the Slovak's serve. The world number one raced through his next service game to send the pair into another tiebreak. Two mini-breaks and no service points lost seen Murray sail through the tiebreak, sealing the win with an incredible reflex volley.