Indian Wells: Fourth seed Andy Murray suffered a late wobble before beating American Michael Russell 6-3, 7-5 to reach the fourth round of the Indian Wells ATP tournament.
Murray, beaten in last year`s final by Spaniard Rafael Nadal, appeared to be cruising to a routine victory when he led by a set and 5-2 but Russell offered dogged resistance to extend the Scot who was not at his best.
Russell played an inspired game to break Murray`s serve and claw back to 5-5 but the 31-year-old American faltered at 5-6 and netted a backhand at matchpoint down.
"He hits it solid from the back of the court and stays close to the baseline," Briton Murray said on court after his first meeting with Russell. "He`s very quick, has a great attitude and made it difficult for me.”
"I started well and was up in the second but he started to make me move whereas earlier I was dictating. The points were getting longer and longer.”
"The thing that was good about that match is a lot of long, tough games," added Murray, who was beaten by world number one Roger Federer in the Australian Open final in January.
"My serve, when I was down, I played well. I saved a lot of break points and played well on a lot of 30-all points."