Published: Tue, June 06, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Murray fights off del Potro to reach French fourth round


Top seed Andy Murray eased into the last 16 of the French Open 7-6 (10-8), 7-5, 6-0 yesterday, against a flagging Juan Martin del Potro. On the bottom half, No. 2 Djokovic, the defending champion, and No. 4 Nadal, seeking a record-extending 10th title in Paris, would set up a showdown in the semifinals with one victory apiece Tuesday. "A lot of people wouldn't have thought that I would maybe get to this stage or be playing the way that I did in the last two sets [against Del Potro], so I'm happy I've managed to turn it around".

"I played really well the whole match". The key was the first set, during which Fognini twice in the decisive moment was not able to protect his serve.

"The conditions were very slow and heavy so coming from behind in those conditions can be difficult because it feels you have to work very hard for every point", he added.

He needed almost three hours to get past the 29th-seeded del Potro at Court Philippe Chatrier under a cloud-filled sky. Murray, 30, kept his nose in front throughout, while the giant Argentinian was unable to reprise the heroics that saw the pair produce such magic in last year's Rio Olympics gold medal match. After walking up to check the ball's mark on the clay - a line judge and the chair umpire confirmed it was out - del Potro leaned forward on the net, head bowed, the very picture of despair.

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Andy Murray of Great Britain and Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina embrace after the men's singles third round match during day seven of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 3, 2017 in Paris, France. Maybe I didn't start the best, but I made some changes in the match tactically.

"I couldn't believe that set, that I lost that set, because I had many opportunities to win", del Potro said. I did it previous year a bunch.

It was a 650th tour-level win for the Scot, who will face either Kei Nishikori or Fernando Verdasco in the last eight.

Del Potro, playing in his first French Open since 2012, was hoping to keep improving his form after injuries early in the air.

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While three of the winners in women's fourth-round action Monday - No. 2 Karolina Pliskova, No. 3 Simona Halep and No. 5 Elina Svitolina - are highly seeded, none of the eight players left in that field has ever won a Grand Slam tournament.

"I think that the relationship is not very good", said 27-year-old Cornet. "I want to try and go as far as possible". He faces former US Open champion Marin Cilic, the seventh seed, who has been making his trademark quiet progress through the draw.

Anderson, who conquered Australia's Nick Kyrgios in the second round advanced to the fourth round with a five-set win over Briton Kyle Edmund. After winning the first two sets 7-5 6-4, Nishikori lost the third 7-6 (4) and was 3-0 down in the fourth.

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