Castle On The Hill Ed Sheeran
25 May 2016, 07:24
Andy Murray will hope for less drama on and off the court at the French Open on Wednesday.
The world number two will play for the third day in a row when he takes on French wild card Mathias Bourgue in the second round.
Murray came back from two sets to love down to win a match for the ninth time when he finished off a 3-6 3-6 6-0 6-3 7-5 victory over Radek Stepanek on Court Philippe Chatrier that had been held over from Monday night.
The Scot was two points from defeat at 4-5 in the deciding set against an inspired opponent but held his nerve to avoid failing at the first hurdle of a slam for the first time since 2008.
It was a headline-grabbing feat in itself but Murray then used his post-match press conference to forcefully reject the idea his split from former coach Amelie Mauresmo had anything to do with his on-court behaviour.
The pair called an end to their near two-year partnership in Madrid earlier this month, with both citing new mother Mauresmo's reluctance to travel as the reason for the decision.
But in an interview in l'Equipe at the weekend, Mauresmo indicated Murray's difficulties in controlling his emotions on court had left her feeling she could not achieve what she wanted from the partnership.
L'Equipe then published an interview with Murray in which he talked about the issue, although he insisted he was not responding to Mauresmo's comments.
The 29-year-old said: ''Me and Amelie have a very good relationship, and I don't think it's fair to try to say otherwise.
''I did an interview before the tournament, before anything that Amelie had said had come out. And the last two days was supposedly that I was hitting back at Amelie's comments and disagreeing with everything that she said and that we had a really tough break-up. That simply is not true.
"And to say that the reason that we stopped working together is because of my behaviour on the court, that is not true. In Madrid when we spoke, we didn't discuss that one time.''
After the difficulties Murray experienced against 37-year-old qualifier Stepanek, he will certainly not be taking Bourgue lightly.
But, while Stepanek is a former top-10 player and a well-known awkward customer, Bourgue is playing in the main draw of a grand slam for the first time and it would be a surprise if he caused Murray too many problems.
Heather Watson is also in action, with the British number two taking on former French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Watson is the sole British woman through to the second round after defeats for 20th seed Johanna Konta and Laura Robson on Tuesday.
But Aljaz Bedene made it three British men through for the first time since 1975 by beating Gerald Melzer 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-4.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams all raced into round two but Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber and fifth seed Victoria Azarenka are out.