Britain's Andy Murray strongly refuted suggestions that his behaviour caused a split with former coach Amelie Mauresmo after he battled into the second round of the French Open on Tuesday.
Murray completed a delayed 3-6, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 win over 37-year-old Radek Stepanek – the oldest man in the men’s draw – to avoid crashing out of a grand slam at the earliest opportunity for the first time since 2008.
The second seed parted ways with Mauresmo this month and the former women’s No1 has since admitted to frustration at failing to curb Murray’s on-court temper – though he insists that was not why they split.
“That is not true,” he said. “There were times when, like with all of my coaches, they said, ‘You need to concentrate more on the match. Stop directing your frustration at the box and being distracted from what’s going on on the court’. But to say that that’s why we stopped working together is untrue.”
Murray’s gritty win in a match that started on Monday set up a clash with home hope Mathias Bourge on Wednesday and means there are three British men in the second round of Roland Garros for the first time since 1975.
Slovenia-born British No2 Aljaz Bedene recovered from a poor start to beat Gerald Melzer 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 and faces Spain’s Pablo Carreno-Busta next.
Kyle Edmund booked his place on Monday and meets big-serving 15th seed John Isner on Wednesday.
British women’s No1 Johanna Konta lost to Germany’s Julia Goerges 6-2, 6-3, while Laura Robson fell 6-2, 6-2 to 28th seed Andrea Petkovic.
Heather Watson takes on Russian 13th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova first thing on Wednesday.