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Murray Grits His Teeth For Third Round Berth

Paris, France

Murray© Getty ImagesAndy Murray will play Santiago Giraldo in the third round.

Fourth seed Andy Murray found a way to beat Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 in two hours and 17 minutes Thursday for a place in the Roland Garros third round. It was his fourth straight win over World No. 48 Nieminen.

Murray lost the first four games of the match and called for a trainer at the first changeover as he struggled with a back injury that compromised his service action. He recovered to record his 24th match win of the season (24-7 overall), committing just 10 unforced errors in the third and fourth sets. The 25-year-old Scot is now three match wins shy of 350 victories (347-114).

"I was absolutely fine yesterday in practice, no problem, went to bed and I was fine, and I woke up this morning, I couldn't put any weight on my left leg," said Murray. "I practised. It was okay. Not great, but it was okay. Then, before the match, I wasn't feeling great. [I] talked about not playing.

"Then right at the beginning of the match, again, I was okay. I don't know if it was nerves, adrenaline, whatever. It wasn't too bad. Then after I got up from the changeover at 3-0, it was really, really sore. And then obviously was struggling a lot for, about an hour, hour [and] 15 [minutes], hour and a half. Then it started to feel a bit better. But still not great. Just kind of gritting my teeth and try to find a way of turning the match around, because I was [a] few points probably from stopping, around the middle of the second set."

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Nieminen admits, "The first two games were good quality games. I didn't have to do anything. He could hardly walk there. I should have taken a double break in the second set to have taken the set. I couldn't take that, and then I played one very poor changeover, two bad games, and then he started to play better. I really never got the momentum back. I tried to play more aggressive, but I didn't feel good. I was moving bad and I made a lot unforced errors. Then he played different than in the beginning."

Murray has won 22 ATP World Tour singles titles, none of which have come on clay. The last British man to win a title on red dirt was Buster Mottram, who won at Palma in 1976.

Murray will next play Colombian Santiago Giraldo, who prior to this year had not won a single match in five visits to Stade Roland Garros. He knocked out No. 25 seed Bernard Tomic of Australia 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 in one hour and 46 minutes, having saved all bar one of 10 break points.

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