BRITISH No1 Andy Murray was relieved to avoid being added to the list of big-name scalps at the French Open first round yesterday, after overcoming Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev in four sets.
For the first time ever both reigning Australian Open singles’ champions Stanislas Wawrinka and Li Na failed to clear the first hurdle at the following grand slam, while former world No1 Caroline Wozniacki and No11 seed Grigor Dimitrov also bowed out yesterday.
Murray, back at Roland Garros after missing last year’s tournament with a back injury, survived a scare after dropping the third set, but progressed winning 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
“There’s been quite a few upsets here the last few days and tricky conditions, so the most important thing was to get through,” said Murray, who has not lost in the first round at a grand slam since the 2008 Australian Open.
“I have not always played my best tennis at the beginning of tournaments, but I’ve found ways to get through and get myself into the tournament and give myself opportunities to do well in these events.”
In the women’s draw, British No2 Heather Watson saw off Czech Republic’s Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in straight sets, recording her 11th win this month alone, having won the Prague Open and three French Open qualifiers.
The 22-year-old won 6-3, 6-4 and plays Romanian No4 seed Simona Halep in round two, while Murray is set to meet world No66 Marinko Matosevic tomorrow.