World number one Andy Murray's struggles this season on clay came back to plague him at the French Open on Thursday as he ground out an unconvincing 6-7(3) 6-2 6-2 7-6(3) win against Slovakian power-hitter Martin Klizan.
Out-hit and more surprisingly often out-thought in the first set by a player he had described as unpredictable, the Scot conceded it on a tiebreak.
Looking faster and keener, Murray pushed through the second set in 37 minutes and the third in one minute less.
"I certainly didn’t want a fifth set."
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 1, 2017
The Slovakian, ranked 50, then began to chance his arm and, as Murray's level dipped, raced to a 5-2 lead before, with yet another momentum shift, the Scot broke back and took the fourth set to a tiebreak, closing out the match with a scrambled volley.
World number three Stan Wawrinka came out on top in his slugfest with Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov, winning 6-4 7-6(5) 7-5 to set up a third round showdown with Italian maverick Fabio Fognini.
The 2015 French Open champion, who has yet to drop a set this week, may have won in three but it was tougher than it looked. The unpredictable Dolgopolov, a former top-20 player, gave him a run for his money.
"He pushed me, he pressed me and I had to stay concentrated," said Wawrinka. "It was a big game and the level was extremely high.
An angry Nick Kyrgios was knocked out after going down 5-7 6-4 6-1 6-2 to South African Kevin Anderson in the third round.
The temperamental Australian destroyed two rackets, including one that he smashed six times onto a cooler, and was handed a penalty point at the end of the second set.
The 18th seed has never made it past the third round at the Paris grand slam.
Kevin Anderson (South Africa) beat Nick Kyrgios (Australia) 5-7 6-4 6-1 6-2
Kyle Edmund (Britain) beat Renzo Olivo (Argentina) 7-5 6-3 6-1
Andy Murray (Britain) beat Martin Klizan (Slovakia) 6-7(3) 6-2 6-2 7-6(3)
Fabio Fognini (Italy) beat Andreas Seppi (Italy) 6-4 7-5 6-3
Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland) beat Alexandr Dolgopolov (Ukraine) 6-4 7-6(5) 7-5
Chung Hyeon (South Korea) beat Denis Istomin (Uzbekistan) 6-1 7-5 6-1
Karen Khachanov (Russia) beat Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) 7-5 6-4 6-4
Kei Nishikori (Japan) beat Jeremy Chardy (France) 6-3 6-0 7-6(5)
Feliciano Lopez (Spain) beat David Ferrer (Spain) 7-5 3-6 7-5 4-6 6-4
Juan Martin del Potro (Argentina) beat Nicolas Almagro (Spain) 6-3 3-6 1-1 (Almagro retired)
John Isner (US) beat Paolo Lorenzi (Italy) 6-3 7-6(3) 7-6(2)
Marin Cilic (Croatia) beat Konstantin Kravchuk (Russia) 6-3 6-2 6-2
Caroline Garcia (France) beat Chloe Paquet (France) 7-5 6-4
Elena Vesnina (Russia) beat Varvara Lepchenko (US) 4-6 6-3 6-0
Anastasija Sevastova (Latvia) beat Eugenie Bouchard (Canada) 6-3 6-0
Hsieh Su-Wei (Taiwan) beat Taylor Townsend (US) 6-0 2-6 6-3
Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) beat Alison Van Uytvanck (Belgium) 6-7(3) 6-2 6-3
Alize Cornet (France) beat Barbora Strycova (Czech Republic) 6-4 6-1
Elina Svitolina (Ukraine) beat Tsvetana Pironkova (Bulgaria) 3-6 6-3 6-2
Daria Kasatkina (Russia) beat Marketa Vondrousova (Czech Republic) 7-6(1) 6-4
Magda Linette (Poland) beat Ana Konjuh (Croatia) 6-0 7-5