Murray Battles Past Herbert
Andy Murray survived a stern test in his Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters opener on Tuesday, defeating France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
The second seed advanced in two hours and six minutes over qualifier Herbert, losing serve four times, but breaking his opponent six times and ultimately winning six points more in the contest.
“It was obviously a very scrappy match,” said Murray. “The best tennis I played was really in the third set when I was up a break. He had a few chances there. I was able to raise my game at those moments.
“But it was obviously up and down in the second set for me. On this surface, that’s something that shouldn’t happen. It’s possible to get broken, but sort of the consistency of your tennis, it should be better because it’s a slower court, so you have got more time on the ball. Made too many mistakes in the second set.”
The 28-year-old Murray is looking for a return to top form after third-round exits in Indian Wells (l. to Delbonis) and Miami (l. to Dimitrov). He began 2016 with a fifth runner-up showing at the Australian Open, before taking a break from the ATP World Tour to celebrate the birth of his first child with wife, Kim Sears.
Last year, Murray enjoyed his best season to date on the dirt, capturing his first two clay-court titles in Munich (d. Kohlschreiber) and at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Madrid (d. Nadal).
The Dunblane native, twice a semi-finalist at the Monte-Carlo Country Club, goes on to face either Benoit Paire or Joao Sousa. Sousa advanced to the second round with a 6-3, 7-6(4) victory over Ivo Karlovic.
Gilles Simon opened the day’s proceedings on Court Ranier III with a 6-4, 6-3 second-round victory over Grigor Dimitrov. The 15th-seeded Frenchman beat Dimitrov for the fifth time in six meetings as he claimed his 11th win of the season.
In remaining first-round action, qualifier Damir Dzumhur cruised past Robin Haase 6-2, 6-0 in just 47 minutes, while Pablo Cuevas toiled for three hours and 20 minutes before edging qualifier Daniel Gimeno-Traver 7-6(2), 6-7(2), 7-6(4).