Andy Murray tops Juan Martin del Potro in French Open third-round

Posted June 05, 2017

The world number one secured his place in the fourth round with a straight-sets win over Juan Martin del Potro, but it is rallies of a different kind that are holding Murray's attention off court.

World No1 and three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray reached the final here previous year, the first time a Briton had done so since 1937.

While Murray won that encounter, his opponent had triumphed in their most recent clash in the Davis Cup.

Ukraine's Elina Svitolina reacts as she plays Poland's Magda Linette during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Sunday, June 4, 2017 in Paris.

"It was obviously an important win for me and a big match, because Juan, when he's playing well, is one of the best players in the world".

"I played some good matches at the beginning of the year".

Those wins guaranteed the home nation will have at least one quarterfinalist in Paris for the first time since Marion Bartoli in 2011.

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It was tough for Del Potro to accept having given so much to what the Eurosport pundit John McEnroe described as one of the best he has witnessed, but in that moment the match was nearly won and lost.

At the end of the first set, Del Potro slumped on the net, head down after squandering chance after chance. There he stayed until the umpire called time.

The pair traded blows in the second set with Murray creeping ahead.

The Argentine was able to break back at 3-5 and levelled the scores at five all, but Murray instantly broke back with a net approach shot and was able to serve out the set.

Top seed Andy Murray eased into the last-16 of the French Open with a 7-6 (10-8) 7-5 6-0 victory over a flagging Juan Martin del Potro.

Del Potro's first set point came in the eighth game, up a break at 5-3, but he missed a return off Murray's 80 miles per hour (129 kph) second serve.

Del Potro's doggedness was a feature of their two matches last season, and the question was whether he could sustain the challenge again.

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This time the Scot would make no mistake and crunched it out with his fourth ace of the match. With some exquisite returning and acutely angled groundstrokes, Murray raced through the final set and into the fourth round.

Certain players look up to their box more than others and generally all you would like to see coming back is encouragement. "I'm working things out while I'm playing the matches, and that's a really, really important part of my game". "When you play someone that good, maybe you're a little bit more switched on and your focus is maybe a little bit higher".

Tired del Potro, who had already summoned the doctor early in the second set, can leave Paris with his head held high after returning to Roland Garros for the first time in five years, following a series of wrist injuries.

The 25-year-old Romanian player Halep defeated Russian 26th seed Daria Kasatkina 6-0, 7-5 in the third round in an hour and 18 minutes.

Bacsinszky won 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 in Court Philippe Chatrier, the second year in a row that she beat Williams in the fourth round in Paris.

Simona Halep, the 2014 runner-up, said the torn ligament in her right ankle is no longer an issue and proved that by defeating 26th-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russian Federation 6-0, 7-5.

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