March 10, 2013 / 7:21 AM / 5 years ago

A rusty Murray finds his way at Indian Wells

Andy Murray of Britain returns a shot against Evgeny Donskoy of Russia during their match at the BNP Paribas Open ATP tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California, March 10, 2013. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

INDIAN WELLS, California (Reuters) - British world number three Andy Murray had to dig himself out of an early hole before beating Russian Evgeny Donskoy 5-7 6-2 6-2 in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.

U.S. Open champion Murray, showing signs of rust in his first tournament on the ATP circuit for six weeks, lost a wildly fluctuating opening set after clawing his back from 1-5 down before he seized control.

In blazing desert sunshine at Indian Wells, the 25-year-old Scotsman broke Donskoy’s serve twice in the second set and also in the third before sealing victory after two hours 17 minutes when his opponent sent a backhand service return long.

“I’ve struggled here the past couple of years, I haven’t won a match,” Murray, who had not played competitively since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final, said courtside.

”I was a little bit nervous in the beginning and he started very, very well ... he came up with some unbelievable shots.

Evgeny Donskoy of Russia returns a shot against Andy Murray of Britain during their match at the BNP Paribas Open ATP tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California, March 10, 2013. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

“I just tried to hang in there and was hitting the ball much better by the second set.”

Slideshow (3 Images)

Murray, a runner-up at Indian Wells in 2009 and a losing quarter-finalist in 2010, will next face Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun, who battled past Slovakia’s Martin Klizan 7-6 7-6 earlier in the day.

In other matches, American Mardy Fish made a triumphant return to the ATP Tour after being sidelined since last year’s U.S. Open because of a heart condition, battling past compatriot Bobby Reynolds 6-3 3-6 6-4.

Croatia’s Marin Cilic overcame Spaniard Albert Ramos 7-6 6-2, Germany’s Bjoern Phau scraped past Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-2 2-6 6-4 and Australian Marinko Matosevic brushed aside Argentina’s Juan Monaco 7-5 6-0.

Australian Open champion Djokovic, the top seed, launches his bid for a third title at Indian Wells when he takes on Italy’s Fabio Fognini later in the day.

Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Larry Fine

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