Murray Survives, Again

As we come to the end of the first week at Roland Garros, here is a potpourri of photographs and captions that capture a few stories from Wednesday … Kids Day in Paris. Photo credits Leslie Billman

Meet 22-year-old Frenchman Mathias Bourgue. Ranked 164 in the world, this wildcard entrant gave world No. 2, Andy Murray, a real run for his francs today in yet another 5-set thriller for the Scot, which he eventually won. This was Bourque’s first Grand Slam appearance. 
Andy Murray has played two rounds at Roland Garros, each stretching the No. 2 seeded player the distance. Today, Mathias Bourque rattled Murray until he dug in about as deep as he could go winning 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. The match lasted 3 hours and 38 minutes. Combine that time on court with his first round and Murray has used up close to 8 hours of energy. “I was trying,” he told the press afterward. “I was trying to find a way. It wasn’t like I was, you know, not there mentally, but I just couldn’t find the courts. I was missing balls.” Murray has a tall task ahead of him in round 3 – Ivo Karlovic. The six-foot-ten Croatian is the same age, 37, as Radek Stepanek, who took Murray to five sets in round one. Karlovic is a serving phenom. Many players consider him one of the most dangerous to meet in any draw, let alone a major. Expect tiebreaks and a quicker match than Murray’s first two. 
Serena and Venus Williams won their first-round match today, defeating Yulia Putintseva and Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-2. The sisters are not seeded at Roland Garros because they have not played enough doubles matches to earn a ranking. In fact, they have not entered a Grand Slam doubles draw since The U. S. Open, 2014. Their entry in Paris probably signals their intent to play together at this summer’s Olympic Games in Brazil. The Williams sisters won the Roland Garros doubles title twice: 1999 and 2010. 
Simone Halep is on the run, above, during her win over Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 7-6(5), 6-2. Seeded sixth at this year’s Roland Garros, Halep is determined to do better than last year when she lost in the first round. In 2014, she and Maria Sharapova played one of the best matches of the year during the final in Paris. Sharapova prevailed to win her second French Open singles championship. Coming in to today’s match, though, Halep was prepared to face what she characterized as a tricky player. Diyas hits with less spin, so the ball doesn’t bounce as high as ones with topspin. The difference affects timing. “She has a flat game and today she played really well,” Halep told the press. “First set she was hitting all the balls very flat, so the ball didn’t bounce too much. I stayed a little bit too far from court. I couldn’t make anything like strong.” In the next round, Halep plays Naomi Osaka.


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