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Murray struggles into 3rd round at Roland Garros

As the weather forced several matches to be postponed, Andy Murray went into the 3rd Round of the French Open, but not without a struggle.

sports Updated: May 28, 2010 11:56 IST

As a Scot, Andy Murray should be more accustomed to dealing with rain than he showed at the French Open on Thursday. Murray's second-round match took two days to complete and was interrupted by showers again after resumption on Thursday.

He was pleased to beat the darkness and Juan Ignacio Chela 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2. "Rain delays _ I've not really had many in my career," Murray said. "It was a good experience for me, one I could have dealt with maybe a little bit better."

The match was suspended on Wednesday night at 3-all in the second set and following a 4-hour delay before play began on Thursday, Murray started slowly, losing the second set in a tiebreaker, then going down a break in the third set before asserting himself. "I just felt a little bit tense at the start," he said. "Then I actually felt fine as soon as I went behind. That's a bit strange, but that's how it was. I started to play a lot better as soon as I got broken in the third set."

Rain made a mess of the schedule but the only significant upset was No. 13 Gael Monfils' 2-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 9-7 loss to Fabio Fognini. The match had been suspended because of darkness on Wednesday at 5-all in the fifth set.

Three seeded women, No. 8 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 21 Vera Zvonareva and No. 32 Kateryna Bondarenko, lost their matches, while Ana Ivanovic hit another low in her slide since winning the French Open two years ago, losing in the second round to No. 28 Alisa Kleybanova 6-3, 6-0.

Eighteen singles matches were postponed, including those involving Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, delaying their second-round matches until at least Friday _ the sixth day of the tournament.

Five singles matches were suspended because of darkness, with four-time champion Justine Henin and Maria Sharapova both up a set in their matches.

No. 6-seeded Andy Roddick endured two delays and difficult conditions to defeat Blaz Kavcic 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. The damp weather took some zip off Roddick's biggest weapon, and for much of the match he was dueling from the baseline on his worst surface. "It was brutal for me out there," he said. "I couldn't get my serve to go anywhere, and the ball was just sitting up. It kind of takes away a lot of shots and it makes it just about hitting the ball and running. I don't know the last time I lost serve seven times and won. So it's bad, but there's got to be something good in there somewhere too," he stated.

The dampness didn't hamper the serves of 2.02-meter (6-foot-9) American John Isner, who reached the third round at Roland Garros for the first time by beating Marco Chiudinelli 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (7), 6-4. Isner, seeded 17th, whacked 38 aces playing on Court 6. "Everyone was talking about how slow the courts were playing," Isner said. "I felt like my court stayed fairly fast."

No. 25 Marcos Baghdatis fought past Marcel Granollers 4-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 and reached the third round for only the second time in his career. He was scheduled to face Murray on Friday. "I'm playing very smart on court and just finding solutions to win," Baghdatis said. "I'm perfect physically. I have no injuries. I feel fit. I feel that I can last, so that makes things a bit easier."

On the women's side, No. 4 Jelena Jankovic, No. 5 Elena Dementieva and No. 11 Li Na won, while 39-year-old Kimiko Date Krumm lost to Australia's Jarmila Groth 6-0, 6-3.

Date Krumm was hampered by a calf injury suffered in the first round, when she beat former No. 1 Dinara Safina to become the oldest woman since 1985 to reach the second round.

First Published: May 28, 2010 11:50 IST