Andy Murray fells Juan Martin Del Potro to enter French Open last 16
Andy Murray defeated Juan Martin del Potro 7-6 (10/8), 7-5, 6-0 to reach the French Open last 16 on Saturday.tennis Updated: Jun 04, 2017 00:57 IST
Top seed Andy Murray eased into the last-16 of the French Open 7-6(8), 7-5, 6-0 on Saturday, over a flagging Juan Martin Del Potro.
Andy Murray did enough to keep his nose in front throughout, while the giant Argentine was unable to reprise the heroics that saw the pair produce such magic in last year’s Rio Olympics gold medal match.
While Murray won that affair too -- and their only previous grand slam meeting -- Del Potro had triumphed in their most recent clash, so the Scot was alert to the dangers.
Meanwhile, the 2015 champion in Paris, Stan Wawrinka, joined Murray in the fourth round, a 7-6 (2), 6-0, 6-2 winner against 28th-seeded Fabio Fognini. Next for Wawrinka: No. 15 Gael Monfils or No. 24 Richard Gasquet, a pair of Frenchmen whose match was suspended in the first set Saturday because of rain that washed out play in the evening.
Other men advancing before the downpour: 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, Kevin Anderson and Fernando Verdasco.
Del Potro, whose career has been blighted by a recurring wrist injury, needed a good start against the world number one, but when he lost a tight first set tiebreak, the stage was set.
Losing that opener on a disputed linecall cut Del Potro deep. Murray jogged to his seat at the changeover, the Argentine stood at the net, bent at the waist, his head resting on the netcord. There he stayed until the umpire called time.
The pair traded blows in the second set with Murray creeping ahead. But a monumental effort by Del Potro saw him break back for 5-5, only to instantly drop serve again as Murray yanked him around the court with tight angles, drop shots and lobs.
This time the Scot would make no mistake and crunched it out with his fourth ace of the match.
Del Potro’s spirit was broken, and the vocal Paris crowd were quelled.
With some exquisite returning and acutely angled groundstrokes, Murray raced through the final set to set up a fourth-round clash with either American 21st seed John Isner or Russian Karen Khachanov.
Anderson outlasts Edmund
South Africa’s Kevin Anderson matched his best run at Roland Garros by reaching the last 16 on Saturday with a five-set win over Britain’s Kyle Edmund.
Anderson, who made the French Open fourth round in 2013 and 2014, twice recovered from a set down to advance 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/4), 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 in just under four hours.
A former top 10 player, the world number 56 will meet Croatian seventh seed Marin Cilic for a spot in the quarter-finals.
Defeat for Edmund, born in Johannesburg like Anderson, means Britain have still never had more than one man in the last 16 at Roland Garros in the Open era.
Anderson missed this year’s Australian Open with a hip injury. His best Grand Slam performance was his run to the 2015 US Open quarter-finals.