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Murray, Verdasco Close Out Third-Round Wins

Paris, France

Murray© Getty ImagesAndy Murray celebrates his five-set win over Philipp Kohlschreiber.

World No. 8 Andy Murray held his nerve to close out a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 12-10 victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to secure his place in the Roland Garros fourth round. 

The match had been suspended due to bad light at 7-7 in the fifth set on Saturday evening. On the resumption, Murray was denied a match point at 8-9 on Kohlschreiber’s serve and saved a break point himself a game later before taking his chance in the 22nd game of the set. With two match points, Murray rifled a backhand return winner to clinch victory in four hours and seven minutes.

"Physically in the fifth set I was struggling. I was cramping," admitted Murray. "So I was disappointed obviously that I wasn't able to finish in four sets. But at the same time, stopping the match probably helped me a little bit, because if I had played seven or eight more games, probably wouldn't have been great.

"Today was a pretty high standard, I thought. Probably the best standard of the match I think from both of us. He came up with some great shots when he was behind in games today. I thought both of us served a little bit better. It was a good finish to the match."

Watch Murray Highlights

Defeat brought to an end Kohlschreiber’s run of six straight wins. The German came into Roland Garros on the back of victory in Dusseldorf (d. Karlovic).

The 27-year-old Murray was a semi-finalist at Roland Garros in 2011 (l. to Nadal) and is looking to reach the quarter-finals for the fourth time. The Scot is the winner of two Grand Slam championships, lifting the trophy at the 2012 US Open and making history at Wimbledon last year, defeating Novak Djokovic on both occasions.

The Dunblane native showed signs of a return to top form following back surgery when he reached the quarter-finals in Rome two weeks prior to Roland Garros, contesting a gripping clash with Rafael Nadal that he lost 7-5 in the third set. 

Murray goes on to face Fernando Verdasco, who returned to Court Philippe Chatrier to defeat French hope Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. The match had been suspended due to bad light with the score balanced at 2-2 in the third set. 

"It's never easy when they stop a match when you are two sets to love up and you are starting the third," said Verdasco. "Because you know that you need to be 100 per cent from the first point or everything can change very quickly. Even more so when you are playing against a player like Richard here in France.

"My goal was to start at 200 per cent and try to at least keep the score level for a few games and then try to break him as soon as I can. So I think the match today went perfectly like I expected, and like I wanted it to be. I'm very happy. Now I will try to recover for tomorrow's match."

Murray boasts a 9-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Verdasco, though this will be their first clay-court contest. Looking ahead to the clash with Murray, Verdasco said, "This is going to be a very tough match again. I will try and give my all. I have nothing to lose. He is a favourite because of his ranking. So I will try and play my best tennis, and I hope I'll be as consistent as I was yesterday and today."

The No. 25-ranked Verdasco is bidding to reach the Roland Garros quarter-finals for the first time in 11 appearances. The 30-year-old Spaniard last reached a major quarter-final at 2013 Wimbledon, when he let slip a two-set lead to lose to Murray in five sets.

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