x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Andy Murray completes comeback to advance at French Open

The world No 4, who was 5-2 down to Viktor Troicki in the last set, comes back to from the brink to reach the quarter-finals.

Andy Murray was on the brink of losing in the fourth round to Victor Troicki.
Andy Murray was on the brink of losing in the fourth round to Victor Troicki.

PARIS // Andy Murray completed a remarkable comeback to defeat Viktor Troicki 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 in the fourth round of the French Open this afternoon.

The world No 4 had defied a right ankle injury to hit back from two sets and a break down to tie the match before darkness fell last night and he was favourite to complete the job today.

However, Troicki had the match in his grasp when he led 5-2 in today's one-set shoot-out only for the Serb to lose his nerve, allowing Murray to win five games in a row and book a place in the quarter-finals against Juan Ignacio Chela.

Victory keeps Murray on course for a semi-final meeting with the top seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal, as he bids to go beyond the last eight at Roland Garros for the first time in his career.

Resuming at two sets all after fading light stopped play on Monday evening, Troicki had to produced some pummelling groundstrokes to save break points in each of his opening two service games.

Troicki was denied a 0-15 lead on Murray's serve in game six when a ballboy inadvertently ran on to the court while he was mid-smash, but recovered to break for a 4-2 lead when Murray netted a forehand from the back of the court.

The Scot threatened to break back in the next game but Troicki saved his third break point of the set before finishing a taut rally with a skidding backhand winner to move 5-2 ahead.

Having fought back from two sets and a break down to level the match yesterday, Murray found himself requiring another improbable escape act.

Despite holding for 5-3, he looked destined for the exit at 0-30 down on Troicki's serve, but fought back to 40-30 up and secured the break back when the Serbian patted a tame attempted drop shot into the net.

Troicki, who won Serbia's crucial point in the 2010 Davis Cup final win over France, appeared to lose faith thereafter and conceded a break to give Murray a 6-5 lead when he found the net with a backhand.

Murray spurned three match points in the next game before finally prevailing with a sensational crosscourt backhand winner from well behind the baseline to seal victory in a time of three hours and 56 minutes.