As if ordering room service, Andy Murray's latest unheralded French Open tormenter requested that a can of Coke and a Mars bar be brought to him right there on Court Philippe Chatrier for sustenance during their five-setter.
Truth is, it was Murray who appeared in need of a jolt of some sort, especially while he was losing 16 points in a row during one stretch.
"I lost my way on the court today," Murray said, "for quite a while."
For now, Murray is still in the mix at Roland Garros, reaching the third round by coming from behind yet again to win, 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, on Wednesday against French wild-card entry Mathias Bourgue, who was playing in the second tour-level match of his life. The second-seeded Murray acknowledged he can't keep getting pushed to the limit if he has designs on adding a third Grand Slam title to his collection.
"I need to go and rest," said Murray, already on court for 10 sets and more than seven hours. "It's been a tough, tough few days."
Murray, three times a semifinalist in Paris, never had won consecutive five-set matches in any tournament. But he twice overcame a set deficit before edging 37-year-old qualifier Radek Stepanek, 3-6, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5, in a first-round match suspended by darkness Monday and completed Tuesday.
Then, against Bourgue — a 22-year-old buoyed by a partisan crowd that repeatedly regaled their man with standing ovations and jeered line calls that didn't go his way — Murray dropped eight straight games, including that 16-point drought, and fell behind by two sets to one.
"I couldn't believe it myself," Bourgue said. "I was very happy. I was very proud. I knew I was on top of things at that point."
Not surprisingly, it didn't last.
This is, after all, someone who is ranked 164th, who sually plays on the lower-tier Challenger tour and never before faced anyone ranked better than 55th. Someone who never before contested a fourth set and so leaned on advice from another French pro, Gilles Simon: If exhaustion sets in, ask for a soda and a candy bar (a ball boy eventually did bring Bourgue a drink and a Twix on Wednesday).
To scout him, Murray asked some French players what they knew about Bourgue — he's good on clay, they warned — and watched video of his match from Monday. Not much else to go on.
Murray is more familiar with his next opponent: 6-foot-11 Croatian Ivo Karlovic, who hit 41 aces to beat Australian wild-card entry Jordan Thompson, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (3), 6-7 (4), 12-10, and become, at 37, the oldest man to reach a major's third round since Jimmy Connors at the 1991 U.S. Open.
"It's the only time when being old is OK," Karlovic joked.
Not since Gaston Gaudio in 2004 has a man been taken to five sets in each of the French Open's first two rounds and gone on to lift the trophy.