Andy Murray climbed off the canvas to defeat Jarkko Nieminen 1-6 6-4 6-1 6-2 in their second-round clash at the French Open this afternoon.
The world number four appeared down and out as his ongoing back problem returned with a vengeance in the first set, rendering Murray virtually immobile and struggling to serve.
But he gradually loosened up and, from 4-2 down in the second set, and helped by a confused opponent, won 11 of the next 12 games to book a third-round meeting with Santiago Giraldo.
There was little sign of the drama to come as the fourth seed took to Court Philippe Chatrier in front of the customary sparse morning crowd and immediately tested Nieminen in a lengthy first game.
The Finn, who beat Andre Agassi in round one in 2005, is certainly no mug, and feels at 30 he has been playing some of the best tennis of his career, but Murray was still a heavy favourite having won all their three previous meetings.
Nieminen immediately brought up two break points as the Scot gave the first signs of physical distress, with frequent grimaces and glances to his box. Murray saved those but he could not close out the game and on his fourth chance Nieminen broke through.
It soon became clear Murray was in all sorts of trouble, barely able to move, and in his second service game he was simply rolling his serve in.
Nieminen swiftly broke again to lead 4-0 (see video above) and it was no surprise when the trainer arrived on court, Murray taking a timeout for some stretching and massage.
The 25-year-old soldiered on and promptly got one break back with a combination of going for broke on his returns and a slight loss of concentration from Nieminen.
But Murray could still barely serve, rolling in his deliveries at less than 100mph, and Nieminen quickly wrapped up the set.
The crowd, and even his opponent, were clearly expecting a retirement at any moment but Murray was obviously hoping his back would loosen up.
There were a few signs at the start of the second set that that might be the case, with his serving marginally more athletic, but his game was still seriously compromised and he was quickly 2-0 down.
He held serve for the first time in the match in the third game, but at this point Nieminen showed no signs of the loss of focus that can often affect opponents in this situation.
That was certainly the case here last year when Murray twisted his ankle in the third round, with German Michael Berrer admitting afterwards he had felt sorry for the Scot.
Murray missed three chances to break back in the sixth game but there now appeared at least a glimmer of hope, and he did manage to draw level at 4-4.
Nieminen piled the pressure back on in the next game, forcing three break points, but Murray did very well to save them all and move into the lead for the first time.
It seemed a key moment, and that was reinforced when Nieminen cracked for the first time, with two simple errors and a double fault - sandwiching an exquisite lob from Murray - handing the fourth seed the set.
Nieminen had the look of a man bemused as to why he was no longer winning, and he flung away his racquet in frustration as Murray broke again at the start of the third set, making it six games in a row.
Nieminen stopped the rot at seven, again saving a break point, but Murray was playing superbly now despite still not moving entirely freely and swiftly wrapped up the third set.
It really was a remarkable turnaround, and Murray looked in complete control when he broke the Nieminen serve for the sixth time in the first game of the fourth set.
The Finn was a spent force now, helping his opponent with a number of tame unforced errors, and Murray moved to within one game of victory as a Nieminen double fault gave away yet another break.
And Murray ensured there were no final twists, taking his second match point to clinch one of his more memorable victories after two hours and 27 minutes.
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