French Open: Murray Beats Del Potro, into Fourth Round

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Andy Murray saw off Argentina’s Juaan Martin del Potro with a superb straight-set win to reach the fourth round of the French Open.

The world number one, 30, won a gripping 84-minute opening set on his way to a 7-6 (10-8) 7-5 6-0 victory.

The Scot, bidding for his first Roland Garros title, goes on to face American John Isner or Russia’s Karen Khachanov.
After searching for consistency in his opening two matches, Murray found something approaching his best form to win the most anticipated match of the first week.

Former US Open champion Del Potro, whose ranking has slid after injuries, posed an unusually severe test for the third round and he began strongly.

The Argentine’s huge forehand drew regular gasps from the crowd, as well as what Murray later described as “a very manly grunt” from Del Potro.

But once he had levelled in a high-quality first set, Murray edged a thrilling tie-break and then dominated in arguably his best performance of 2017.

“I played some good matches at the beginning of the year, but definitely in the clay-court season, the second or third sets were the best I have played, for sure,” Murray said.

He out-scored the powerful Argentine with 41 winners to 35, all the while mixing up his game with deft drop shots and sharp volleys.

The match turned late in the first set when Del Potro failed to serve it out and Murray eventually took the tie-break with his third set point, having saved four.

A distraught Del Potro slumped on the net post for most of the changeover, pausing only to smack down his racquet in anger before moments later dropping serve at the start of the second set.

I couldn’t believe that I lost that set, because I had many opportunities to win,” he said.

“But this happens when you play against the number one in the world.” There was no way back, especially after the Argentine – who struggled with a groin injury on the previous round – called for the doctor.

Murray’s hopes faltered only briefly when he failed to serve out at 5-4, but the Scot broke serve once again in the following game and then reeled off the last seven games in a row.