Andy Murray fought hard to defeat wildcard Frenchman Mathias Bourgue in five sets in Paris on Wednesday to advance to the third round of the French Open.

Andy Murray Wins In Five Sets To Reach Roland Garros Third Round

The World No. 2 Brit lost eight straight games to drop the second and third sets to the 22-year-old Avignon, France native, who is ranked 164th in the world.

Murray, 29, finished off Bourgue 6-2 2-6 4-6 6-2 6-3. He also won in five sets in the first round against veteran Czech Radek Stepanek.

Fellow Brit Kyle Edmund lost 6-4 6-4 6-4 to American 15th seed John Isner. The only other British player remaining in the singles tournament is Aljaz Bedene, who plays on Thursday.

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Murray’s inconsistent form as of late has been puzzling, considering he defeated Serb powerhouse Novak Djokovic in the Italian Open final in his last match on clay. He will now face 27th seed Ivo Karlovic from Croatia in the third round on Friday.

Karlovic, 37, beat Australian Jordan Thompson 12-10 in the final set to become the oldest man to make the third round since Jimmy Connors in 1991.

The World No. 2 took the time to praise Bourgue for his performance after the match. “Mathias was excellent and made me run a lot. He’s got a fantastic future for sure,” he said. “I led 6-2 2-0 then he started playing unbelievably and I was finding it hard to win points, let alone games. I’ve played matches like this before and just tried to fight through to the end.

Murray told BBC Sport he did not have an explanation for his inconsistent form. “You can’t play too many matches like this if you want to go far in this tournament. I hope to win the next one a little bit faster,” he said, adding, “I just lost my way.”

Murray appeared to be in total control, leading 2-0 in the second set, but his playing quickly fell apart.

Bourgue, who had never played a Tour-level match prior to this week, broke Murray three times and won six consecutive games, including 16 unanswered points to win the set and even the match.

The pattern continued as Murray double-faulted twice and committed even more unforced errors in the opening game of the following set.

The Brit finally broke Bourgue’s eight-game winning run by taking the third game of the set. Murray served for the match at 5-1 but failed to close it out before finally sealing victory after three hours and 34 minutes on court.

Bourgue hit more winners (55 to Murray’s 46), produced fewer unforced errors (44 to Murray’s 45) and won 138 points compared to Murray’s tally of 137.

“I’d been waiting for this for a long time, that’s what I play tennis for. I’m happy even if I lost,” Bourgue said. “It will remain a great memory.”

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka, the No.3-seed Swiss, defeated Japan’s Taro Daniel 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 6-4, also on Wednesday.

Kei Nishikori, the No.5-seed from Japan, also advanced to the third round of Roland Garros following a 6-3 6-3 6-3 victory over Russian Andrey Kuznetsov. 

ROME, ITALY – MAY 13: Andy Murray of Great Britain in action against David Goffin of Belguim during day six of the The Internazionali BNL d’Italia 2016 on May 13, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

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