“It was a decent start, considering obviously how I played in the buildup”, said Murray, who suffered early clay-court exits in Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome.
Rafael Nadal’s pursuit of a 10th title at Roland Garros includes a second-round matchup against Robin Haase of the Netherlands, while 2016 champion Novak Djokovic – with Andre Agassi in his corner as a coach – plays Joao Sousa of Portugal.
Former world No. 4 Greg Rusedski, another Eurosport pundit, suggested that it might even have been worth Murray skipping the French Open to allow his body and mind to heal and to be fresh for the grass-court season.
He breezed through the third and fourth sets with the loss of just two games and ended the match full of smiles that hinted at his relief over a potentially tricky hurdle negotiated. Ivan (Lendl) is back in Paris now in his corner – I think that helps as well.
Past year he lost the first two sets of his opening-round match against Radek Stepanek before fighting back to win in five.
Murray has progressed to the third round of the French Open, where he will face Juan Martin del Potro, after beating Martin Klizan in round two.
“Maybe at the beginning, if you’re coming in with maybe not too many matches, you feel slightly less pressure than you might do if it was best-of-three, because if you get down a set quickly, there’s not lots of wiggle room there”.
The contest was very much on at one set all, but a moment of inspiration turned things in Murray’s favour early in the third. “It was not necessarily easy after I played in Geneva until Saturday to get into gear”.
‘All she wants to do when I Facetime is hit the red button’. I felt like I was cruising and still went down a break.
“I don’t think the reason why I haven’t been playing well is because [Lendl] hasn’t been around a lot”.
Murray will face Martin Klizan for a place in the last 32 after the Slovak prevailed in a tense five-setter against French wild card Laurent Lokoli.
In men’s doubles, Britain’s Jamie Murray and his Brazilian partner Bruno Soares eased past the Serbian pair of Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki 6-3, 7-6 (0) in a first round match.
“For me, when you’re on a tennis court, you have to be respectful”, said Lokoli.
“For me it’s a good experience to play against a world number one”.
Murray was given a stern test by the unseeded Klizan, whose deft drop shots and ferocious forehands had the Brit scampering, but it was last year’s runner-up who prevailed.
The Slovakian revealed he nearly did not play the tournament because of the injury but is hopeful of being fit to face Murray.
“I tried very hard and gave myself a big chance”.