Sleepless Murray holds nerve to reach round four

BRITAIN’S Andy Murray confessed to having a sleepless night before finishing the longest match of his career yesterday to reach the French Open fourth round, while the exit of former world No1 Roger Federer boosted the Scotsman’s hopes of winning a third grand slam title.

Deadlocked at 7-7 in a fifth and final set on Saturday night, Murray and opponent Phillip Kohlschreiber were forced off court due to bad light and battled for a further 40 minutes yesterday before the reigning Wimbledon champion triumphed 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 12-10.

Murray had never contested more than 12 games in a deciding set before and admitted to feeling the pressure.

“Considering the circumstances I think we both played some good points,” said the 27-year-old. “We were both pretty nervous. I didn’t sleep much. I kept waking up. I was ready to play at 4 or 5 in the morning. It’s not easy coming back at 7-7 in the fifth set.”

Spain’s Fernando Verdasco, beaten by Murray at last year’s Wimbledon quarter-final, is the British No1’s next opponent today, after he wrapped up a straight sets win against Richard Gasquet.

But 17-time grand slam champion Federer made his earliest exit at Roland Garros for 10 years, losing 7-6, 6-7, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 to 18th seed Ernests Gulbis of Latvia.