PARIS, May 28 (Reuters) - Third seed Andy Murray overcame his first mini-crisis at this year’s French Open to beat Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-2 4-6 6-4 6-1 on Thursday and move into the third round.
The twice semi-finalist took his winning run on clay to 12 matches, starting and finishing the second round clash in fine style, but there was a period in the middle when it went awry.
The 28-year-old Briton had looked in control against an opponent he had never dropped a set to, but in the eighth game of the second he was broken to love and also received a time violation warning from French umpire Pascal Maria.
He immediately broke back but serving at 4-5, 15-30 Sousa came up with a perfect drop shot to earn two set points and converted the first with a smash on to the baseline.
Sousa had break points early in the third set with Murray clearly rattled, but he wasted one with a rushed forehand return and then saw a booming Murray ace disappear down the middle line on the second.
Murray raised his game, broke at 3-3 and took control from then on, moving on to an eye-catching third round match against Australian trailblazer Nick Kyrgios.
“He played very well at the end of the second set and the beginning of the third, so I had to weather the storm,” Murray, who is tipped to be a serious challenger this year, told kilt-wearing interviewer Fabrice Santoro on court.
Kyrgios, the 29th seed, enjoyed a day off after British opponent Kyle Edmund withdrew with a stomach injury. (Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Tim Collings)