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Ferrer fires French warning

David Ferrer sent a message to the top four that he could be a real threat at the French Open with a third-round demolition of Mikhail Youzhny on Saturday. Star watch

sports Updated: Jun 03, 2012 02:11 IST
Spain-s-David-Ferrer-reacts-as-he-defeats-Russia-s-Mikhail-Youzhny-during-their-third-round-match-in-the-French-Open-tennis-tournament-at-the-Roland-Garros-stadium-in-Paris-AP-Bernat-Armangue
Spain-s-David-Ferrer-reacts-as-he-defeats-Russia-s-Mikhail-Youzhny-during-their-third-round-match-in-the-French-Open-tennis-tournament-at-the-Roland-Garros-stadium-in-Paris-AP-Bernat-Armangue

David Ferrer sent a message to the top four that he could be a real threat at the French Open with a third-round demolition of Mikhail Youzhny on Saturday.

The sixth seed is one of the best in the world on clay, but he still flies very much under the radar in relation to the likes of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Ferrer, who won 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 on Saturday, is slated to meet Andy Murray in the quarter-finals, and he has won all three of his meetings on clay with the world number four.

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That is a few days away, but Murray's camp will not have been encouraged by the ease with which Ferrer disposed of Youzhny. It was not until the ninth game that the Russian finally got on the board, and he celebrated by carving the word 'sorry' in the clay with his foot.

Things did not improve much for Youzhny from there, with Ferrer needing only an hour and 41 minutes to clinch victory and a fourth-round meeting with either Marcel Granollers or Paul-Henri Mathieu.

It was as if Thursday had never happened for Andy Murray as he produced a high-level display to see off Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

There was no sign of the back problems that proved so debilitating in his near miraculous win over Jarkko Nieminen two days ago, with the world number four serving well, moving okay and hitting the ball very cleanly.

Giraldo, ranked 50th in the world, resorted to kamikaze tennis to stay in touch with Murray, who hit some breathtaking heights – including four consecutive aces in the second game of the second set that, surely, put to bed any worries about his fitness.

Twisting into his shots and putting some serious muscle on his groundstrokes as well as his serves, Murray blitzed Giraldo in short rallies and wore him down in most of the longer exchanges.

It was a brutal and efficient performance, not quite angry tennis, but certainly a statement after days of criticism.