French Open: Murray praise for Mauresmo after battling win

28 May 2015 / 18:24

Andy Murray beat Joao Sousa and then won over the crowd at Roland Garros with effusive praise of his French coach.

British number one Murray has now won 12 straight matches on clay but was tested against his Portuguese rival, losing a set before rallying to win 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

He will now face Australia's Nick Kyrgios, who got a bye through his second round tie with Great Britain's Kyle Edmund after he withdrew with a stomach injury.

Murray's coach Amelie Mauresmo often felt the pressure of expectation at her home Slam but has been a strong presence in the Scot's corner since their partnership began last summer.

"We started officially working together after Wimbledon last year and I’d been going through a very tough period with back surgery," said Murray.

"I dropped out of the top ten in the world and she has helped me a lot and has a lot of experience.

"She was an excellent player, was number one in the world and won Grand Slams.

"But also the way that she played and her game style, she played with a lot of variety, which is something I try to do on the court.

"I thought she could help me with that and she’s a very nice person too. It’s fun to work with her, which is also important."

Murray admitted he let his intensity slip as Sousa - who he had beaten in five previous encounters - proved an irritating opponent.

But he was happy with elements of his game in a match that lasted two hours and 30 minutes.

"I realised towards the end of the second set and the beginning of the third that he had raised his level," he added.

"He was putting a lot of pressure on me and I just had to tell myself to try and get through it and weather the storm.

"I came out with some good serves on those break points and managed to turn it around."

Murray is now the sole British representative in the singles draws after fellow British number one Heather Watson lost 6-2, 6-4 to Sloane Stephens.

Watson had beaten the American - who is only five ranking places ahead of her - in their four previous meetings but was never in the match, meaning she exits at the second round stage for the fourth time in five years.

 © Sportsbeat 2015