rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » French Open PHOTOS: Muray, Wawrinka advance; Radwanska out

French Open PHOTOS: Muray, Wawrinka advance; Radwanska out

Last updated on: June 03, 2017 22:27 IST

Images from the matches played on Day 7 at the Roland Garros on Saturday

Great Britain's Andy Murray consoles Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro after their third round match

IMAGE: Great Britain's Andy Murray consoles Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro after their third round match. Photograph: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Top seed Andy Murray eased into the last-16 of the French Open 7-6(8), 7-5 6-0 on Saturday, over a flagging Juan Martin Del Potro.

Murray did enough to keep his nose in front throughout, while the giant Argentine was unable to reprise the heroics that saw the pair produce such magic in last year's Rio Olympics gold medal match.

While Murray won that affair too -- and their only previous grand slam meeting -- Del Potro had triumphed in their most recent clash, so the Scot was alert to the dangers.

Del Potro, whose career has been blighted by a recurring wrist injury, needed a good start against the world number one, but when he lost a tight first set tiebreak, the stage was set.

Losing that opener on a disputed line-call cut Del Potro deep. Murray jogged to his seat at the changeover, the Argentine stood at the net, bent at the waist, his head resting on the netcord. There he stayed until the umpire called time.

Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro in action during his third round match against Great Britain's Andy Murray 

IMAGE: Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro in action during his third round match against Great Britain's Andy Murray. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

The pair traded blows in the second set with Murray creeping ahead. But a monumental effort by Del Potro saw him break back for 5-5, only to instantly drop serve again as Murray yanked him around the court with tight angles, drop shots and lobs.

This time the Scot would make no mistake and crunched it out with his fourth ace of the match.

Del Potro's spirit was broken, and the vocal Paris crowd were quelled.

With some exquisite returning and acutely angled ground-strokes, Murray raced through the final set to set up a fourth-round clash with either American 21st seed John Isner or Russian Karen Khachanov.

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka  plays a forehand during the men's singles third round match against Italy's Fabio Fognini

IMAGE: Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka plays a forehand during the men's singles third round match against Italy's Fabio Fognini. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

World number three Stan Wawrinka cruised into the French Open fourth round against an out-of-sorts Fabio Fognini on Saturday, winning 7-6(2), 6-0, 6-2 as the Italian's game fell apart after a strong first set.

The 2015 champion in Paris has yet to drop a set in the 2017 tournament, but this time he came close to conceding the first, which the unpredictable Italian failed to serve out before losing in a one-sided tiebreak.

Fognini, seeded 28, had won two of his three matches against top-five opponents this year, beating then fourth-ranked Kei Nishikori in Miami and number one Andy Murray in Rome.

But on a murky Court Suzanne Lenglen where the weather matched his own darkening mood, the Italian lost the second set without taking a game, punctuating wild forehands with a clutch of double faults before getting treatment on his left knee.

Fabio Fognini plays a backhand during his match against Stan Wawrinka

IMAGE: Fabio Fognini plays a backhand during his match against Stan Wawrinka. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

At 5-2 down in the third set, Fognini saved two match points before the 32-year-old Swiss fired down an unreturnable serve on the third.

"It was a very good first set and I was a bit hesitant, but after that I relaxed," Wawrinka said courtside.

"I am playing very well at the moment but we all know how that can go in a grand slam... Each game gets more difficult."

Wawrinka will play the winner of the all-French clash between Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet in the fourth round.

Croatia's Marin Cilic celebrates during his third round match against Spain's Feliciano Lopez

IMAGE: Croatia's Marin Cilic celebrates during his third round match against Spain's Feliciano Lopez. Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Seventh seed Marin Cilic established himself as a contender for the French Open title after sweeping past Feliciano Lopez 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the last 16 without having dropped a set on Saturday.

The 2014 US Open winner, who warmed up for the year's second grand slam by capturing his first claycourt title in five years in Istanbul last month, delivered a near-perfect performance to equal his best-ever showing in Paris.

He whipped 31 winners past the helpless Spaniard, who at 35 was the oldest player left in the draw and who needed repeated medical treatments for neck problems.

The 28-year-old Croatian completed his win with his eighth ace to set up a round of 16 clash with either Britain's Kyle Edmund or Kevin Anderson of South Africa.

France's Alize Cornet in action during her third round match against Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska

IMAGE: France's Alize Cornet in action during her third round match against Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Using an armoury of delicate drop shots, Alize Cornet rode a tide of French support into the last-16 of Roland Garros on Saturday with a 6-2 6-1 win over Agnieszka Radwanska.

The Frenchwoman flummoxed the Polish ninth seed with a display that delighted the home crowd, and signalled a palpable belief in her ability to go much further here.

"There are no words," Cornet told the crowd.

"It is fantastic to be able to play so well on centre court. There was no better scenario.

"Clay is not my favourite surface but I feel so well on this centre court. I did not let her dictate the points, stayed close to my baseline and tried to mix it up with drop shots. I saw it was working so I continued."

Romania's Simona Halep celebrates winning her third round win over Russia's Daria Kasatkina

IMAGE: Romania's Simona Halep celebrates winning her third round win over Russia's Daria Kasatkina. Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Simona Halep survived a third-round scare against young pretender Daria Kasatkina in a Roland Garros rollercoaster on Saturday, winning 6-0, 7-5 after initially threatening to brush past the 20-year-old Russian with ease.

Kasatkina began tentatively against the Romanian third seed in what looked like a case of big-match nerves.

Hitting powerfully on both wings from the back of the court, Halep romped through the first set in 30 minutes and led 3-1 in the second.

The 20-year-old Russian then sparked into life, winning the next four games and holding three set points in the 10th game before Halep edged through, closing out the match with a net chord that Kasatkina failed to return.

"I played really well at the beginning," Halep, who won the Madrid title and reached the Rome final in the run up to Roland Garros, said courtside.

"She was coming back really strongly and I think my energy went a bit down... She's a really tough opponent."

An expected slug fest between two veteran clay-courters turned into a stroll in the park for Fernando Verdasco after the Spaniard demolished 22nd seed Pablo Cuevas 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 to reach the French Open fourth round on Saturday.

Uruguayan Cuevas, whose six career titles have all come on clay, was no match for world number 37 Verdasco and his baseline power play and capitulated after 93 minutes.

Lef-thander Verdasco, who has now reached the last 16 in Paris six times, won an eye-popping 100 percent of all points from his first serve in the second set as his 31-year-old opponent failed to make an impact.

The Spaniard, who beat ninth-seed Alexander Zverev in the first round, has now claimed victory over two seeds in a grand slam for the first time since 2010.

The 33-year-old will next face either Japanese eighth seed Kei Nishikori or Chung Hyeon of South Korea.

Source:
© Copyright 2018 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.