Murray enrages French

You would be looking at Andy Murray a long time before detecting his charm. That was the view of a hostile crowd at Roland Garros as Murray beat the French player Richard Gasquet on his way to the French Open quarter-final.

Murray won the match in four sets after losing the opener 6-1, apparently before his concentration had switched on. The match was played to a soundtrack of catcalls from a crowd that disapproved of what they perceived as Murray’s gamesmanship.

Murray had clutched his back as if in pain from a long-standing injury at several points in the game. The crowd thought he was faking and trying to unsettle Gasquet with the ploy. They also didn’t like it when a couple of line calls went against the Frenchman.

Murray seemed to thrive on the crowd hostility. He confirmed that after the match. "It's almost like playing in a football match – and I like football," he said. "I enjoyed myself today. It's the most fun I've had on the court in a while, so I wasn't shying away from the fact that the crowd wanted me to lose."

Murray also refused to return the favour after Gasquet had given Murray a free call on a close baseline ball. Murray seemed to appreciate that his opponent was easily rattled, and took advantage. He showed little sympathy. "If he was unhappy with that, then, well, that's his problem. He should have just tried to get on with it."

Murray can expect little support from the locals in the remainder of the tournament. That’s the way he likes it though, and French hostility may carry him all the way to the final.

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