French Open: Coachless Murray battles into second round
British number one Andy Murray got his French Open campaign off to a winning start on Tuesday as he needed four sets to see off Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
The Wimbledon champion reached the 2011 semi-finals on the Paris clay, his best result to date on his least favourite surface but he was given a stern workout by his world number 53 opponent.
A run to the Rome Masters quarter-finals where he was outlasted by Rafael Nadal losing 7-5 in the decider has given the Murray camp reason for optimism in his seventh appearance at the French.
Still without a coach since splitting with Ivan Lendl, he backed that up with a solid showing on the Suzanne Lenglen court, using a patient baseline game and winning just under 50% of his opponents service to wrap up a place in the last 64.
"He's a tough player and very aggressive which put me on the back foot," said Murray.
"It was pretty windy and I had to be patient but I got the win. Last year was tough because I missed Roland Garros with my back injury and it was really hard to watch it on TV."
When asked about a future coach, Murray joked; "I'm looking but not many people want to work with me, hopefully soon."
Murray now meets either Australian Marinko Matosevic or Dustin Brown of Germany in the second round.
The Scot, 27, sailed through the first set in 34 minutes as he broke Golubev, ranked 53, three times and committed just five unforced errors.
Golubev, who came into the match with just one win at Roland Garros in four appearances, stiffened his resistence in the second before Murray got the crucial break to go 5-4 up and then held serve for the set.
The Dunblane native, who became Britain's first Wimbledon champion since 1936 in 2013, came back from 3-1 down in the third before losing his way as Golubev got back into the match taking the third set 6-3.
But in a match that saw 13 breaks of serve, eight by Murray, the experience of the Briton paid off and he closed out the match 6-3 in 2hr 35min.
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