• Indian Wells

Murray and Nadal made to work for opening wins

ESPN staff
March 8, 2014
Andy Murray reached the final at Indian Wells in 2009 © Getty Images

Andy Murray fought from a set and a break down to overcome Lukas Rosol and reach the third round at Indian Wells, while Rafael Nadal had to fight back to advance past Radek Stepanek.

The reigning Wimbledon champion could not cope with the power of Rosol in the opening set, but managed to recover from a break down in the second to seal a 4-6 6-3 6-2 victory in his opening encounter at the tournament.

Murray, a semi-finalist last weekend on the hard courts of Acapulco, fell a break behind at 4-3 in the first set when Rosol hit a superb forehand up the line.

However, Rosol surrendered the break when 40-15 in front, as Murray immediately hit back to make it 4-4.

A third break in succession enabled Rosol to move 5-4 in front, and Murray soon saw the first set disappear as a 15th winner sailed past him.

Rosol continued to put Murray under pressure, and thanks to a tame shot from Murray which hit the net seized a quick break.

Murray though responded with an immediate break back, and stormed into a 5-2 lead by being more aggressive with his play, forcing Rosol around the court to exploit the open spaces.

The new tactics paid dividends as Murray levelled the match at one set all, and the British No.1 took a 2-0 lead in the decider to apply early pressure to Rosol.

Rosol held serve to get on the board in the final set, but Murray secured a second break in the fifth game to go 4-1 up, and wrapped up victory on his serve after Rosol fired a backhand wide.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal had to come back from a set down to defeat Radek Stepanek 2-6 6-4 7-5, a victory in which the Spaniard hit a career-high eight double faults.

Roger Federer eased past French qualifier Paul-Henri Mathieu with a 6-2 7-6(5) victory. Federer, a four-time champion at Indian Wells, will now play Dmitry Tursunov after the Russian beat Juan Monaco 7-6(4) 6-4.

Lleyton Hewitt was denied his 600th ATP victory as he was ousted 7-6(5) 6-4 by 17th seed Kevin Anderson, while Gael Monfils is through to the third round following a 6-2 6-4 victory against Sergiy Stakhovsky.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Milos Raonic, Fabio Fognini and Tommy Haas but 18th seed Jerzy Janowicz fell 6-3 2-6 7-6(5) to Alejandro Falla.

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