Victorious Murray revels in Grand Slam nerves

Ross McLean
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Murray beat Arguello to reach round two
BRITAIN’S Andy Murray admitted he thrived on the nervous tension before breezing through to the second round of the French Open with a commanding victory over Argentine qualifier Facundo Arguello yesterday.

Third seed Murray was rarely troubled by world No139 Arguello during his straight-sets 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 success, dispatching his opponent in one hour and 45 minutes.

The 28-year-old will face either Canada’s Vasek Pospisil or Joao Sousa of Portugal, who play today, in the second round, having extended his winning streak on clay to 11 matches this year.

Given this year’s draw at Roland Garros, Murray faces the prospect of having to beat world No1 Novak Djokovic or nine-time champion Rafael Nadal to reach his maiden French Open final, and is banking on his performances improving as the tournament progresses.

“I was nervous today,” said Murray. “Always the first round of the major competitions are tough and it was quite windy, so it was tricky conditions. But I like being nervous, it shows you care and want to do well.

“I’m glad to have got through the first one and hopefully I can play better as the tournament goes on.”

British No4 Kyle Edmund, meanwhile, recorded his first ever win at a Grand Slam by beating veteran Frenchman Stephane Robert 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2. The 20-year-old will now come up against 29th seed Nick Kyrgios in the second round.

World No43 Heather Watson also progressed after dispatching France’s Mathilde Johansson 6-4, 7-5 to set up a showdown with American Sloane Stephens, who beat seven-time grand slam champion Venus Williams 7-6, 6-1.

“I have a good record against Sloane,” she said. “She’s obviously a great player. Every time I’ve played her I’ve played very well. Whoever I play I know I’m going to have to play very, very well in all aspects of my game.”

Of the five Britons in action yesterday it was the end of the road for Slovenia-born Aljaz Bedene and Jo Konta, who suffered defeats to Austria’s Dominic Thiem and Czech Denisa Allertova respectively.