Murray downs Del Potro

- Agence France-Presse, PARIS

Jun 4, 2017-

Andy Murray downed longtime rival Juan Martin del Potro to reach the Roland Garros last 16 on Saturday while French hopes were overshadowed by a bitter feud between two of their top stars. 

World No 1 Murray triumphed 7-6 (10/8), 7-5, 6-0 for his seventh win in 10 meetings with Del Potro whose challenge fizzled out after squandering four set points in the 87-minute opener. Murray, the runner-up to Novak Djokovic in 2016, will next face either John Isner of the United States or Russia’s Karen Khachanov. 

In a titanic first set, Del Potro wasted four set points then saved two before Murray pounced for the opener when the Argentine star narrowly miscued. The 28-year-old slumped over the net and stayed bent over during most of the changeover to catch his breath. Del Potro, playing in Paris for the first time in five years after a series of wrist injuries, was quickly a break down in the second set. 

He retrieved it when Murray served for the set in the 10th game before handing the advantage straight back. Murray seized his lifeline, a fourth ace giving him a two-set lead. Weary Del Potro, who had already summoned the doctor early in the second set, knew his challenge was over and he managed just 11 points in the third set. 

Former US Open champion Marin Cilic continued his smooth progress seeing off Feliciano Lopez, who was limited by a neck injury, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3. Croatian seventh seed Cilic will next meet South Africa’s Kevin Anderson who matched his best run at Roland Garros with a five-set win over Britain’s Kyle Edmund. Anderson 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 in a duel between two players born in Johannesburg. 

In the women’s event, France have three women in the last 16 for the first time in 23 years. However, that success is overshadowed by a bitter feud between compatriots Alize Cornet and Caroline Garcia who will clash for a place in the quarter-finals. Cornet reached the last 16 for just the second time with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Polish ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska who lost all her seven service games. Garcia, seeded 28, made the fourth round of a Slam for the first time with a 6-4, 4-6, 9-7 win over Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei. 

Romanian third seed and 2014 runner-up Simona Halep sealed her place in the fourth round with a 6-0, 7-5 win over Russia’s Daria Kasatkina. Halep will face Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro for a place in the quarter-finals. Suarez Navarro, the 21st seed and a two-time quarter-finalist, made the fourth round for the fifth time. She eased past Russian 14th seed Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-4.


Selected Results 

Men’s 3rd round

Andy Murray (GBR x1) bt Juan Martin del Potro (ARG x29) 7-6 (10/8), 7-5, 6-0; Fernando Verdasco (ESP) bt Pablo Cuevas (URU x22) 6-2, 6-1, 6-3; Stan Wawrinka (SUI x3) bt Fabio Fognini (ITA x28) 7-6 (7/2), 6-0, 6-2; Kevin Anderson (RSA) bt Kyle Edmund (GBR) 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/4), 5-7, 6-1, 6-4;  Marin Cilic (CRO x7) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-1, 6-3, 6-3

Women’s 3rd round

Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) bt Catherine Bellis (USA) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3;  Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP x21) bt Elena Vesnina (RUS x14) 6-4, 6-4; Simona Halep (ROM x3) bt Daria Kasatkina (RUS x26) 6-0, 7-5; Caroline Garcia (FRA x28) bt Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) 6-4, 4-6, 9-7; Alize Cornet (FRA) bt Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x9) 6-2, 6-1

Published: 04-06-2017 09:02

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