Murray Survives Wrist, Nalbandian Scare; Federer, Djokovic Breeze in Paris
Andy Murray’s season hung in the balance early in the third set when the Scot pulled up lame with a wrist injury. Fortunately for Murray and his faithful which includes the London promoters, the injury appeared to be minor for now allowing the World No. 3 to prevail over David Nalbandian 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the second round of the Paris Tennis Masters today.
“My wrist feels okay just now,” Murray told the press. “I have had a few problems with it in the past and I felt quite a sharp pain. I got the trainer on to look at it but it feels fine just now. I’ll just have to wait and see if it’s still fine tomorrow.”
Following the injury time-out at 2-2, Murray ended up winning four of the last five games of the match.
“I struggled at the start,” he said. “He didn’t miss a ball for a set and a half. He was taking the ball very early, and I haven’t played on a quicker court since I’ve been on the tour, I don’t think.I was struggling to control the ball, and then I changed the tension on my racquets by four or five pounds, and I felt a lot more comfortable at the end of the second set. I started serve and volleying a lot which worked very well, and I didn’t lose many points up at the net. He played a bad game at 5‑4, and I managed to capitalize on that.”
Murray now has a late-night date Thursday with the struggling Marin Cilic.
Also on Wednesday, Roger Federer eased over Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4. Federer had lost a year ago in Paris to Julien Benneteau, but the talented Gasquet was unable to trouble the Swiss.
“It is always dangerous playing against Richard here,” said Fed who lost just four points on his service. “I don’t think there was much between us except maybe a couple of games where I played really well.”
Federer meets Czech Radek Stepanek tomorrow in the third round.
Andy Roddick was first on and he didn’t disappoint his early-morning fans by ripping Jarkko Nieminen 6-1, 6-4. Roddick will have be up early again Thursday as he takes on Ernests Gulbis at 10:30am local time. I think Roddick should get through that match as well.
Other winners were Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling, who posted an excellent victory over Gilles Simon.
In the final week of the tour’s regular season, of 11 matches played today we saw only three go three sets. And just two tiebreakers were played which is a little surprising considering the slick court surface. I have a hunch that some guys after dropping the first set were eager to get a start on their off season! I can’t blame ‘em but it’s something to watch for when players lose the first set.
Also tomorrow, Fernando Verdasco, who needs to reach the final to have any hope of qualifying for London, meets crowd-fav Gael Monfils. Djokovic will be tested by Frenchman Michael Llodra, a winner today over John Isner, and Tomas Berdcyh battles Nikolay Davydenko in another good one.
Matches are live on the Tennis Channel in the U.S. all week!
THURSDAY PARIS SCHEDULE
CENTRAL COURT start 10:30 am
 A Roddick (USA) vs E Gulbis (LAT)
 G Monfils (FRA) vs  F Verdasco (ESP)
M Llodra (FRA) vs  N Djokovic (SRB)
S Wawrinka (SUI) vs  R Soderling (SWE) – Possible Court Change
Not Before 7:30 PM
 R Federer (SUI) vs R Stepanek (CZE)
 A Murray (GBR) vs  M Cilic (CRO)
COURT 1 start 11:00 am
 M Bhupathi (IND) / M Mirnyi (BLR) vs J Erlich (ISR) / M Kohlmann (GER)
Not Before 1:30 PM
 J Melzer (AUT) vs  D Ferrer (ESP)
Not Before 3:00 PM
 T Berdych (CZE) vs  N Davydenko (RUS) – Possible Court Change
Also Check Out:
Venus Survives 3-set Scare in Opener at WTA Rome
Nadal Survives Nalbandian Scare; Roddick, Henin Roll Sunday in Miami
Nalbandian, Tsonga Fight for Shanghai in Final Match of ATP Regular Season in Paris
Del Potro Withdraws from Shanghai
Nalbandian Stuffs Nadal Like a Turkey, Wins Paris Tennis Masters