Murray battles past Donskoy
Andy Murray came back from a set down to claim a 5-7 6-2 6-2 victory over Russia's Evgeny Donskoy in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open.
Playing for the first time since losing the Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic, the world number three found himself 5-1 down in the opening set against a player ranked 80 places below him.
Murray recovered some composure but still dropped the first set before clawing his way back to win.
Despite his world ranking of 83, it soon became clear the 22-year-old Donskoy would not bow to his more illustrious rival in the first meeting between the pair.
The Russian looked competitive from the start but Murray was struggling and found himself facing two break points in the fourth game, the second of which he sliced into the net to hand Donskoy a 3-1 lead.
Murray had the chance to level in the next game but Donskoy rose to the challenge, producing two stunning forehands to preserve his advantage.
Things then went from bad to worse for the Scot in game six, as he found himself facing more break points due to a combination of weak serves and poor shot selection.
And Donskoy needed no second invitation, applying pressure on his opponent who put a backhand wide to trail 5-1.
Murray managed to pull a break back in the next after a wild forehand from Donskoy before holding.
And the set was back on serve in game nine after Murray took advantage of another break point with a backhand which bounced on the line.
The third seed looked much improved now but three more sublime shots from Donskoy, including an audacious lob which dropped in at the backline, gave the Russian a chance to take the set in game 12.
Murray saved two break points but Donskoy was too powerful on the third and he clinched the opening set 7-5 after 62 minutes on court.
The start of the second set was a much more sedate affair compared to the lively opener, but Murray made the first move with a break of serve in game five.
The tables now seemed to be turning on Donskoy and Murray opened up a 5-2 lead when the Russian failed to lift a forehand over the net.
That left the world number three serving for the set and he levelled the match with a powerful forehand which Donskoy was unable to return.
Murray was in control now and broke his opponent twice more early in the decider.
The second break was particularly sweet for the Scot who, at 40-0 ahead in game five, played a stunning forehand past Donskoy's outstretched arm.
Eventually serving for the match at 5-2, Murray faced four more break points but wrapped up the win when Donskoy fired a forehand long.
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