Andy Murray recovered from a set and a break down to continue his winning momentum with a first-round victory over Germany’s Rainer Schuttler at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis.
The Scot followed up his first ATP Tour title success in San Jose last week by making a winning start in Tennessee, coming within one game of elimination before battling back to win the match 1-6 7-5 6-2.
A good week in this tournament could push the 18-year-old above Greg Rusedski and Tim Henman to become Britain’s number one after wins over Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewit helped him win the SAP Open last week.
Murray was unable to convert a break chance in the first game of the match as Schuttler recovered to hold.
The experienced German then made Murray pay by breaking himself to go 2-0 up as the Scot only managed to get one first serve into play.
To the Dunblane youngster’s relief he got off the mark in his second service game to trail 3-1, but Schuttler reasserted himself by winning to love in game five and breaking Murray again in the next.
The 18-year-old saved two set points but Schuttler, the 2003 Australian Open finalist, converted the third to close out the first set 6-1 in just over 28 minutes.
The second set progressed with serve until the fifth game, when the 29-year-old Schuttler kept his nerve to break again and move 3-2 up.
Murray held to love in the ninth game of the set to move within one game of Schuttler, but the German was still serving for the match.
However, after missing one break chance, Murray demonstrated once again his battling qualities by converting a second to level the set at 5-5.
He held again and after taking Schuttler to deuce, claimed his set-point chance to level the match at one set apiece.
Murray then broke Schuttler in the fourth game of the deciding set to move into a winning position, and almost repeated the feat in Schuttler’s next service game before the German held.
Murray held to go 5-2 up and then broke Schuttler to love to complete the turnaround and set up a match with either Jonas Bjorkman or second seed Nicolas Kiefer in the second round.