Murray vs. Chela – French Open 2nd Round – Roland Garros 2010

Posted on May 29, 2010


Andy Murray defeated Juan Ignacio Chela in the second round of the French Open despite severe rain delays interrupting the match and meaning it stretched over 2 days. This was the second time in recent weeks he has defeated Chela comfortably and he now he takes in place in round 3 where he will play former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis.

The world number 4 triumphed 6-2 6-7 6-3 6-2 and continues to impress at this year’s Roland Garros despite the fact that it has not been an easy start to his campaign. Usually at Grand Slam events the seeded players will be drawn against lesser players early on and ease their way into the tournament but Murray has been drawn against seasoned campaigners thus far. The way he has handled this whirlwind start has been excellent and it should hold him in good stead for the tougher matches that remain.

Despite some impressive forehand winners, Chela produced way too many unforced errors and Murray capitalised and dominated the Chilean throughout. The rain delay caused a slight lapse in concentration, leading to the loss of the second set on a tie-break, but the British number 1 was always in control. Murray came into the match with 5 wins out of 6 against Chela, and that record never really looked like being tested. The most recent of those victories was an easy win at the Rome Masters two weeks prior to this one, and Murray delivered another damning dismissal of Chela on the red clay. Murray picked up where he left off against Gasquet, with a game of such variety and quality that it was a joy to watch.

The tennis Murray produced in the first set was astonishing. His groundstrokes were powerful and effective, his drop shot confidently used and his return of serve – arguably the strongest part of his armour – were dismantling Chela with breathless ease. He blended so many effective elements and produced a varied game, suggesting he is now getting back to his very best. Chela is capable of some big-hitting himself, and therefore always poses a danger, but he was second best throughout this contest. There was one particular point which highlighted the quality and tenacity that defines Murray’s ability. It came at 2-2 in the second and against almost any other opponent in the world, Chela would surely have won the point. He sent a blistering forehand and an over-head smash Murray’s way but the British number 1 exhibited his world-class defensive capabilities by somehow getting them back, before sending an incredible back-hand winner down the line. It was remarkable and it is this type of artistry that sets him apart from most players on the ATP World Tour.

Baghdatis now awaits Murray in round 3 and should offer a stern test. A former Grand-Slam runner-up and Wimbledon semi-finalist, Baghdatis is capable of producing quality tennis on his day, but with Murray showing this kind of form, he will have to play exceptionally well to beat him.

words by Robert Pollard

Posted in: Tennis