Andy Murray admitted he was moments from quitting during his remarkable victory over Jarkko Nieminen at the French Open yesterday and declared: “I can’t believe I won”.
The World No 4 woke up this morning with a back spasm that meant he could not put much weight on his left leg and almost did not take to the court at all for his second-round match on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Murray’s troubles became obvious in the fourth game of the match when he was struggling to move and in particular to serve, but he opted to carry on and eventually engineered a barely believable turnaround to win 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.
The 25-year-old said: “I didn’t find it that satisfying. I just couldn’t believe I had won. I guess when you’re in that position, especially in a grand slam, emotionally it’s pretty challenging, because you’re only one or two points away from having to stop. I couldn’t believe I was in a position to win at the end of the fourth set, so I was starting to get a bit edgy.”
Murray has been troubled by an ongoing back problem that saw him pull out of the Masters Series event in Madrid earlier this month, but he insisted this was not the same thing, although it may be related.
Meanwhile, World No 2 Rafael Nadal took his Roland Garros match record to 47-1 with a straightforward 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 win over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.
Elsewhere, fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga completed a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 win over German qualifier Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in a match interrupted by rain late Wednesday.
Li Na in Rd 3
In the women’s event, defending champion Li Na of China reached the third round with an easy 6-0, 6-2 win over France’s Stephanie Foretz Gacon.
Former World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki, seeded nine this year and a quarter-finalist in 2010, breezed past Jarmila Gajdosova 6-1, 6-4 for a sixth win in six meetings against the Australian.