Paris, May 31: Lethargic at times and brooding at others, British player Andy Murray worked his way into the French Open quarterfinals by coming back to beat Victor Troicki 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 on Tuesday in a match that started a day earlier.
The three-time Grand Slam runner-up won the final five games of the fifth set despite injuring his right ankle in the previous round. The first four sets were played Monday before darkness suspended the match.
Defending women's champion Francesca Schiavone also rallied, reaching the semifinals by beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 1-6, 7-5, 7-5.
Later Tuesday,Roger Federer is set to face Gael Monfils for a spot in the semifinals, and 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova is scheduled to play No. 11 Marion Bartoli of France.
Murray looked out of it in the opening two sets on Court Suzanne Lenglen, often pacing around the clay with his head low and sometimes screaming to no one in particular. But he soon started placing his shots and quickly worked his way back into the match before play was suspended.
When the match resumed Tuesday, the pair held serve until Troicki broke for a 4-2 lead shortly after a ball boy interfered with play on a point won by the 15th-seeded Serb. Troicki complained, but the point was replayed and Murray eventually took a 15-0 lead.
“I won that game, but still, I never saw—haven't seen it on TV or ever,” Troicki said. “I mean, since I watched tennis and I played tennis, I have never seen such a situation. Kid just jumped in and messed up my point.”
Two games later, Troicki was serving for the match. He took a 30-0 lead, putting him two points from victory, when Murray rallied again and broke back.
“I was a bit nervous and didn't go for my shots at those points, and he took advantage of it,” Troicki said. “Definitely one of the toughest losses in my career”
“Not a good moment.”
It is the fifth time in the 24-year-old Murray's career that he has come back from two sets down to win. The fourth-seeded Briton is now 11-5 in five-set matches.
According to the International Tennis Federation, it's the first time since 1984 that the top five seeded men all reached the quarterfinals at the French Open, and the first time since Wimbledon in 1989 that it happened at any of the Grand Slam tournaments.
Like Murray, Schiavone was also two points from losing in her match. The 14th-seeded Pavlyuchenkova, at 19 the youngest quarterfinalist at this year's tournament, won 10 of the first 12 games to lead 4-1 in the second set before Schiavone turned things around.
Last year at Roland Garros, Schiavone became the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title. AP