The Scot missed last year's tournament with a back injury, but booked his spot in the second round with a 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory over Golubev, who beat Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka in the Davis Cup last month.
Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's live text coverage of the action below.
2.22pmHello all! Sports Mole's French Open first-round coverage continues this afternoon as Britain's number one Andy Murray faces Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev in Paris. On paper, it should be a fairly straightforward route into the second round for the Scot, but Golubev caused an upset last month when he beat Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka in the Davis Cup. Can he cause another shock?
2.25pmAs touched upon, this afternoon's clash will be the third time that the pair have met. Murray has won both of the previous meetings – in St Petersburg in 2008 and Perth two years later – but the Scot enters the match still without a coach having recently parted with Ivan Lendl. Darren Cahill has been strongly linked with the position, but it is understood that Andre Agassi's former coach has ruled himself out of the running.
2.28pmRafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic both already booked their spots in the second round with comfortable wins on Monday, but world number three Wawrinka crashed out to Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez on Monday in the shock of the tournament thus far. Should Murray advance this afternoon, he would be on course to face Nadal in the semi-finals of the competition, before a possible final against Djokovic.
2.31pmMurray, who has dropped to number eight in the world, was seeded seventh for the tournament after missing last year's competition with a back injury. However, a strong showing in Paris would significantly boost the Scot's ranking. Murray's clay-court preparation has included a second-round loss in Madrid, before losing to Nadal in the quarter-finals in Rome. Both players are expected on court in the next few moments...
2.34pmMurray's best showing at the French Open came in 2011 when he made the semi-finals, but he was eliminated in the quarter-finals one year later. The 27-year-old, who is the current Wimbledon champion, was also eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open earlier in the year, but it would be a surprise if he did not make at least the final four in this particular competition. Both players are currently knocking up ahead of this first-round match, which will begin shortly. Can Golubev cause an almighty shock?
2.37pmGolubev, meanwhile, who is in some interesting camouflage shorts this afternoon, is currently ranked 72nd in the world and has never made it past the second round of a Grand Slam. The 26-year-old's previous best showing in the French Open came in 2009, when he made the second round, but has bowed out at the first time of asking in each of the last two years. In total, his win record in Paris is around 25%.
2.38pmHere we go then. It must be said that it is extremely windy in Paris this afternoon. Let's hope that the rain stays away! Murray will serve first in this first-round match.
Murray 1-0 Golubev*Comfortable hold for Murray as the Scot takes the first point before moving 30-0 ahead when Golubev fires long. Golubev produces a fine volley to move to 30-15, but then fires long to hand Murray game point. The seventh seed does indeed take that opportunity with a powerful serve. Murray leads Golubev.
Murray* 2-0 GolubevBREAK! Plenty of long rallies in the early exchanges as both players exchange strokes from the baseline in the opening two points. Murray moves into a 30-15 lead following a powerful forehand, before Golubev hits the net with a slice to hand the Scot game point. Murray indeed takes it as Golubev finds the net once more.
Murray 3-0 Golubev*Another hold for the Scot, who now leads 3-0, but it was far from straight-forward. Golubev twice fires long to hand Murray 30-0, but Golubev levels at 30-30 when Murray fires wide and then hits the net in quick succession. Golubev has break point when Murray fires long, but a powerful serve levels it at deuce. The Scot eventually secures the hold of serve following the third deuce when Golubev hits the net and then fires wide. Much better from Golubev, but he is in trouble in the first set.
Murray* 4-0 GolubevBREAK! Murray goes after Golubev's serve in the early stages of the game and moves 15-0 ahead with a powerful foreland, but a smash from the server levels it at 15-15. A volley from Golubev moves the 26-year-old 30-15 ahead in the game, before Murray finds the net. The Scot moves to 40-30 when Golubev fires wide once more, before an approach shot from the Scot leaves the score at deuce. Golubev hits the net once more to hand Murray advantage and the Wimbledon champion secures his second break of the match when the server produces a double fault.
Murray 4-1 Golubev*BREAK! Break for Golubev as the 26-year-old secures his first game. Golubev gets on the board at 30-0 when Murray hits the net, before producing a close-range volley to level at 30-30. A fine forehand then hands Golubev break point, but he hits the net to leave another game at deuce. Murray then double faults to leave Golubev with another break point, but deuce two occurs when Golubev fires long. Eventually Golubev breaks following two unforced errors from Murray.
Murray* 5-1 GolubevBREAK! Impressive response from Murray as the Scot moves 0-30 ahead after staying in two long rallies with the server. Golubev moves onto the board with a straight forehand, but then fires wide to hand Murray two break points. The Scot secures the break at the first time of asking following a flick of his wrist. Murray will serve for the first set.
SET! Murray 6-1 GolubevMurray claims the first set in this first-round match. Two powerful serves move the Scot into a 40-15 lead, but Golubev manages to level at deuce following a couple of errors from the seventh seed. Both players then hit the net in quick succession as deuce two occurs. Murray eventually manages to hold when Golubev twice hits long in quick succession.
3.11pmSo there we have it. Murray claims the first set, but it was not as straight-forward as the score suggests. Golubev has shown moments of quality, but it is difficult to see him seriously hurting the Scot.
Murray* 6-1 0-1 GolubevStrong start to the second set for Golubev as he holds serve to move onto the board. A powerful forehand moves the 26-year-old 40-15 ahead following a short stroke from Murray, but he then fires long to leave the score at 40-30. Golubev manages to hold, however, with a powerful smash.
Murray 6-1 1-1 Golubev*Comfortable hold for Murray as Golubev twice fires long in quick succession, but the Scot then fires wide to leave the score at 30-15. The hold occurs when Golubev strikes the net from close range. Fairly routine in the early stages of the second set in Paris.
Murray* 6-1 1-2 GolubevGolubev starts off the game with a delightful drop shot to move 15-0 ahead, before claiming his second point with another drop. Murray then fires wide to leave the score at 40-0, before the Scot hits the net to allow Golubev his second hold of the set.
Murray 6-1 2-2 Golubev*Sloppy start to the game from Murray as the Scot fires wide following a loose forehand from Golubev. However, Golubev misses the chance to move 0-30 when he shapes a forehand wide of the court. A powerful serve then hands the Scot 30-15, but he hits the net during the next exchange to leave the score at 30-30. A poor strike from Golubev hands Murray game point and the Scot takes it when Golubev finds the net once more.
Murray* 6-1 3-2 GolubevBREAK! Murray moves 0-15 ahead when Golubev fires long of the baseline, but a powerful forehand moves the server on terms following a short slice from Murray. Another unforced effort allows Murray to move 15-30 ahead, before 15-40 occurs when Golubev hits wide. The break occurs at the first time of asking following another poor slice from the server.
Murray 6-1 4-2 Golubev*Murray takes firm control of the second set following another hold. It was Golubev that moved ahead in the game when Murray hit the net, but Golubev quickly followed suit to leave the score at 15-15. Two net shots from Golubev allow Murray to move 40-15 ahead, but the Scot then hits the net with a forehand. Murray closes it out, however, following another error from Golubev.
Murray* 6-1 4-3 GolubevPositive start to the game as Golubev produces his first ace to move 15-0 ahead, before Murray hits the net to leave the server with a two-point lead. Another net shot from Murray moves Golubev 40-0 ahead and he closes out the game with a fine volley.
Murray 6-1 4-4 Golubev*BREAK! Poor start to the game from Murray as the Scot hits the net in the opening point. A powerful serve follows, however, which allows the Scot to move level at 15-15. A long forehand from Murray leaves Golubev 15-30 ahead, but then Golubev hits the net. Murray's casual play costs him, however, as he fires a forehand wide to leave Golubev with break point. The 26-year-old indeed takes it when Murray fires long. We are now on serve in the second set.
Murray* 6-1 5-4 GolubevBREAK! Both players exchange errors in the opening two points to leave the score at 15-15, before Golubev hits the net to leave Murray 15-30 ahead. A powerful forehand from the server, however, levels it once more. Murray then fires long, but Golubev follows suit to leave the score at deuce. Golubev fires long to hand Murray break point and the Scot takes it to take control once more.
SET! Murray 6-1 6-4 GolubevMurray moves into a two-set lead after taking the second set of the match 6-4. Golubev takes the first point of the game after Murray fires long, but the Scot responds with a brilliant ace to leave the score at 15-15. The score moves to 30-30 as both players hit the net in quick succession, before Murray gains set point when Golubev fires wide once more. The world number eight indeed takes it when Golubev nets from close range.
3.50pmSo there we have it. Murray claims the second set in this first-round French Open match. Golubev has shown moments of class, but has produced far too many errors from positive positions. It would be a surprise if Murray did not go on to comfortably claim the third and book his spot in the next round of the competition.
Murray* 6-1 6-4 1-0 GolubevBREAK! Golubev continues to produce moments of brilliance as the 26-year-old wraps a forehand down the line to move 30-15 ahead, but a double fault then leaves the score at 30-30. A brilliant return from Murray then moves the Scot 30-40 ahead, but he passes up the chance to break at the first time of asking when he fires a forehand wide. Murray does eventually break, however, with a brilliant passing shot.
Murray 6-1 6-4 1-1 Golubev*BREAK! A brilliant smash from Golubev moves the 26-year-old into a 0-15 lead on the Murray serve, before the Scot fires long to hand Golubev 0-30. A wonderful return from Golubev forces Murray into a short forehand, but Golubev then hits the net to pass up the chance to move 0-40 ahead. In the next point, however, Murray fires long to hand his opponent three break points. Golubev nets the first, takes the second when Murray hits the net.
Murray* 6-1 6-4 1-2 GolubevSensational start from Golubev as he swipes a powerful forehand across court to move 15-0 ahead following a long exchange from the baseline. Murray then fires long to leave the score at 30-0, before Golubev wraps another forehand past Murray to move 40-0 ahead. Golubev then double faults before hitting the net twice in quick succession, with the score moving to deuce. Golubev eventually holds, however, following the second deuce.
Murray 6-1 6-4 1-3 Golubev*BREAK! Murray nets in the first point of the game to leave Golubev 0-15 ahead, before firing wide to leave his opponent with a 0-30 lead. The Scot eventually moves onto the board with a powerful backhand, before levelling with another backhand down the line. A smash from Golubev hands the 26-year-old break point, but the game heads for deuce when Golubev fires long. Another wide forehand from Golubev hands Murray game point, but the Scot then fires long for deuce two. A double fault from Murray allows Golubev to break.
Murray* 6-1 6-4 2-3 GolubevBREAK! Another slice from Golubev allows Murray to move 15-30 ahead following a couple of cheap points from both players, but the Scot then fires wide to leave the score at 30-30. Golubev then nets, however, to hand Murray the chance to break back. The seventh seed indeed takes it as Golubev double faults. We are back on serve in the third set.
Murray 6-1 6-4 2-4 Golubev*BREAK! Not the best start to the game from Murray as the Scot double faults to leave Golubev 0-15 ahead. However, Golubev then nets to leave the score at 15-15. Golubev responds with a wonderful forehand to move ahead once more, but then misses a Murray forehand as the score moves onto 30-30. The game heads for deuce when both exchange backhands and eventually Golubev breaks with a powerful forehand.
Murray* 6-1 6-4 2-5 GolubevImpressive tennis from Golubev as the 26-year-old races into a 40-0 lead following a strong forehand and a couple of errors from Murray, before holding when Murray fires long. Poor from the Scot once more.
Murray 6-1 6-4 3-5 Golubev*Murray moves 15-0 ahead when Golubev fires a forehand wide, before netting to leave the Scot 30-0 ahead. Another wide forehand moves Murray into a three-point lead, but the Scot then slices long as Golubev moves onto the board, before Murray nets with the score at 40-30. Eventually Murray holds when Golubev fires wide from the baseline.
SET! Murray 6-1 6-4 3-6 GolubevGolubev moves 15-0 ahead when Murray fires a forehand wide, but the server then strokes long as Murray moves level at 15-15. Another unforced error from Murray allows Golubev to move 30-15 ahead and that quickly becomes 40-15 when the 26-year-old produces a fine drop shot. Golubev eventually takes the third set when Murray fires long. We have a real match on our hands now.
4.35pmWell, I did not see that coming! Murray's level has dropped, while his opponent has found another gear. Can Golubev take this into five sets? It promises to be a fascinating fourth set in Paris.
Murray 6-1 6-4 3-6 1-0 Golubev*Murray gets back on track in the opening game of the fourth set as he holds serve following a couple of errors from his opponent. The Scot eventually secures the hold when Golubev can only clip a Murray serve wide. Strong reaction from Murray, who really needed that.
Murray* 6-1 6-4 3-6 2-0 GolubevBREAK! Murray seems to have found another level in the last few moments as he quickly moves 0-30 ahead following two net shots from Golubev in quick succession. Golubev does move onto the board after demonstrating delicate hands at the net, but Murray sets up two break points when his opponent fires wide. Golubev refuses to be beaten, however, and levels it at deuce. Eventually Murray secures the break when Golubev nets from close range.
Murray 6-1 6-4 3-6 3-0 Golubev*Again it is impressive tennis from both players in the opening two points, with the second going to Golubev following a brilliant volley. Murray then produces an ace to move 30-15 ahead, before Golubev fires wide. Murray secures the hold when Golubev clips wide from a deep position.
Murray* 6-1 6-4 3-6 3-1 GolubevAnother error from Golubev hands Murray a 15-30 lead, but that becomes 30-30 when Golubev produces a brilliant smash. A truly sensational shot moves Murray 30-40 ahead, however, when he somehow wraps a low backhand past his opponent. Deuce occurs when Murray nets, before Golubev moves ahead following a long forehand from Murray. The hold is secured when Murray fires wide once more.
Murray 6-1 6-4 3-6 4-1 Golubev*Strong hold from Murray as the Scot races into a 30-0 lead with a couple of powerful serves, but Golubev continues to impressive with a brilliant drop-shot at the net. Golubev then fires wide, but Murray follows suit moments later. The Scot does manage to hold, however, when Golubev hits another one wide.
Murray* 6-1 6-4 3-6 4-2 GolubevMurray produces another moment of brilliance at 15-15 to move ahead in the game, but an ace from Golubev levels the score at 30-30. Murray then fires wide before hitting the net as Golubev respond with a hold.
Murray 6-1 6-4 3-6 5-2 Golubev*An ace from Murray moves the Scot 15-0 ahead, but he then fires long to leave the score at 15-15. Golubev can only fire long in the next point, however, before Murray produces a powerful forehand to move 40-15 ahead. Eventually Murray secures the hold when Golubev nets once more.
Murray* 6-1 6-4 3-6 5-3 GolubevGolubev claims the first point of the game when Murray fires wide, before the Scot hits a forehand long to leave the server with a 30-0 lead. Another wide forehand allows Golubev to move 40-0 ahead and the 26-year-old secures the hold with a backhand down the line.
SET! Murray 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-3 GolubevPerfect start to the game from Murray as he produces two aces to move 30-0 ahead. That becomes 40-0 when Golubev fires wide, but the 26-year-old does move onto the board with a forehand smash. Murray eventually closes it, however, when Golubev fires long of the baseline.
5.13pmGAME, SET AND MATCH: Murray 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-3 Golubev
5.16pmSo there we have it. It was not as straight-forward as one would have imagined, but Murray has indeed booked his spot in the next round with a 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory. That is just about it from me this afternoon, but be sure to remain with Sports Mole for all the reaction. Until next time!