Murray tops del Potro in Paris
Andy Murray benefited from a double-fault by Juan Martin del Potro in the opening tiebreaker and then looked more and more like the No. 1 player that he is during a 7-6 (8), 7-5, 6-0 victory at the French Open yesterday.
The third-round match between a pair of past major champions was much tighter than the straight-set scoreline might indicate.
"Yeah, I expected a very tough match. And the first set was very, very important, I think, for the rest of the match. Whoever had won that first set had big momentum," Murray said. "In these conditions, when it's slow and heavy, to be coming back is difficult."
He needed nearly three hours to get past the 29th-seeded del Potro at Court Philippe Chatrier under a cloud-filled sky. It was a rematch of the 2016 Rio Olympics gold-medal final won by Murray.
Del Potro had four set points in the opening set but lost each one, including that key double-fault, while ahead 7-6 in the tiebreaker. After Murray converted a third set point of his own when his opponent's big forehand landed barely wide, del Potro rested his head on the net and stayed put for several seconds, the very picture of disappointment.
"Too much frustration," del Potro said. "I couldn't believe I lost that set."
Stan Wawrinka, the 2015 champion, was a 7-6 (2), 6-0, 6-2 winner against 28th-seeded Fabio Fognini.
Wawrinka, owner of three major championships in all, will play for a quarter-final berth against No. 15 Gael Monfils or No. 24 Richard Gasquet, a pair of Frenchmen whose third-round match was interrupted by rain in the first set yesterday.
Murray is a three-time Grand Slam title winner and was the runner-up at Roland Garros a year ago. He has not had a great season so far, though, particularly on the clay-court circuit leading up to the French Open, but he now has reached the fourth round for the eighth time in 10 appearances in Paris.