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Murray battles through in Miami

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:23

The British number one was hoping to build on his run to the final in Indian Wells last weekend but had to recover from a poor start to defeat Juan Monaco 4-6 6-3 6-2.

Monaco was inspired in the opening set but, having missed a chance to break in the opening game of the second, faded badly as Murray gradually took control in the pair’s first meeting.

Monaco created the first opening in the third game as Murray struggled to find his range, and the world number 59 finally took advantage on his third break point.

It got worse for Murray in the fifth game as Monaco claimed a second break to love, although the Scot turned the tables in the next game to at least pull the score back to 4-2.

Murray saved further break points in the seventh game but then failed to take his one chance to break back as Monaco wrapped up the first set 6-4.

The Scot should have gone a break ahead in the second game of the second set. A net cord seemed to have set him up perfectly but Monaco’s desperate retrieval landed just inside the baseline.

However, Murray was gradually getting the upper hand and secured the break in the fourth game. Murray began to play with authority and a shanked Monaco return saw him level at one-set all.

Murray duly broke again in the first game of the decider but Monaco showed he had some fight left by levelling immediately. A third successive break gave the British number one the advantage again and from there he eased to victory.

The Scot, who is in Rafael Nadal’s half of the draw, will play Nicolas Massu in the next round. Massu eventually prevailed in his battle with Mardy Fish, defeating the American 27th seed 5-7 7-6 (7/4) 6-2 in a match which lasted almost two and a half hours.

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