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Rediff.com  » Sports » French Open PHOTOS: Murray, Halep advance; Kvitova bows out

French Open PHOTOS: Murray, Halep advance; Kvitova bows out

Last updated on: May 27, 2016 22:15 IST

Andy Murray

IMAGE: Andy Murray had things his way against big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic to reach the fourth round at the French Open in Paris on Friday. Photograph: Jacky Naegelen/Reuters

Andy Murray's French Open campaign gathered pace as he made light work of big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic to reach the fourth round with a 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (3) victory on Friday.

After consecutive five-setters in his first two rounds, the second seed gave a masterclass in nullifying the game's biggest serve, breaking twice in succession at the start of the match to pave the way for a routine victory.

Murray will face either big serving American 15th seed John Inner or Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili next.

The ATM's statistics showed Karol had won 95 percent of his service games in the last year, more than any other player, but that counted for little on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Karol was 4-0 behind in quick time as Murray toyed with the 6ft 11in player who was the oldest man to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for 25 years.

He even managed to send a couple of lobs looping over the head of Karol, who looked jaded after coming through a five-setter in round two.

Having taken the second set with a single break, Murray's progress slowed in the third as Karol found his range to force a tie break.

But Murray stayed focussed and wrapped up a no-nonsense win on the first match point when the 27th seeded Karol sprayed a forehand well wide.

Romania's Simona Halep whips a return against Japan's Naomi Osaka during their French Open third round match at the Roland Garros on Friday

IMAGE: Romania's Simona Halep whips a return against Japan's Naomi Osaka during their French Open third round match at the Roland Garros on Friday. Photograph: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

Simona Halep avoided the embarrassment of falling victim to a teenager who calls herself "a child of the Internet" as she huffed and puffed her way into the fourth round with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Naomi Osaka.

It seemed as if the Romanian's name would be splashed across the World Wide Web as the latest high-profile casualty in the French capital. She was totally bamboozled in the opening set by a Japanese opponent ranked 101st in the world.

However, the sixth seed made sure she did not suffer the same fate as Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber or fifth seed Victoria Azarenka.

She kept her wits about her despite a barrage of winners flying off Osaka's racket.

The 18-year-old's winning groundstrokes in the opening set drove Halep to take out her frustration on her racket as she went set point down. She earned a code violation from the umpire for turning her racket into a mangled mess after repeatedly hammering the frame against the red dirt.

Naomi Osaka reacts

IMAGE: Naomi Osaka reacts. Photograph: Jacky Naegelen/Reuters

It was too late to save the first set, but releasing her anger certainly produced the desired result in the second set.

The 2014 Roland Garros finalist saved a break point in the opening game before levelling the match.

Osaka, who was born in Japan but raised in the United States by her Haitian father and Japanese mother, was not one to give up easily. She fought back from 3-1 down in the third set to 3-3, again raising the prospect of an upset.

However, by this stage, Halep had had her fill of close calls for the day. She ran off with the last three games to wrap up victory.

"She has more experience than me ... I'm not the greatest player ever, so I can't be upset that I lost," Osaka told reporters.

Halep set up an intriguing fourth-round showdown with either 2015 finalist Lucie Safarova or 2010 runner-up Sam Stosur.

Spain's Garbine Muguruza hits a forehand against France's Myrtille Georges during their French Open second round match

IMAGE: Spain's Garbine Muguruza hits a forehand against France's Myrtille Georges during their French Open third round match. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Spanish fourth seed Garbine Muguruza cantered into the fourth round with a 6-3, 6-0 thrashing of Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer.

Muguruza converted all of her six break points to set up a meeting with either Russian 24th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Garbine Muguruza greets Yanina Wickmayer at the net after the win

IMAGE: Garbine Muguruza (left) greets Yanina Wickmayer at the net after the win. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

After an early exchange of breaks, the 22-year-old Muguruza, a quarter-finalist at Roland Garros in the last two years, found her groove and won the last nine games on a sun-drenched Court Philippe Chatrier.

She ended the world number 54's ordeal with an exquisite backhand drop-shot on her first match point.

IMAGE: Shelby Rogers of the United States reacts during her third round match against Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images.

Shelby Rogers produced one of the biggest shocks at this year's French Open when she knocked out twice Wimbledon champion and 10th seed Petra Kvitova in the third round.

The 23-year-old American, ranked 108th in the world, won 6-0, 6-7(3), 6-0 to move into the last 16 of a grand slam for the first time.

Czech Kvitova's loss means four of the top 10 seeds in the women's draw have failed to reach the last 16.

Rogers will face Irina Begu of Romania next after she beat Germany's Annika Beck.

IMAGE: Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland celebrates victory. Photograph: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images.

Second seed Agnieszka Radwanska took advantage of Caroline Garcia's weak serve to advance into the third round with a 6-2, 6-4 victory.

The Pole, who will next face Czech 30th seed Barbora Strycova, broke six times as her French opponent looked nothing like the player who won the Strasbourg International last Saturday.

Garcia won a higher percentage of points on her second than on her first serve, which was all too easy to read for Radwanska, who reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros in 2013.

Garcia threatened a comeback in the second set after falling 3-0 down, but two successive double faults handed Radwanska her third match point, which she converted as the Frenchwoman mishit a backhand.

IMAGE: Richard Gasquet of France hits a forehand during his third round match against Nick Kyrgios of Australia at the French Open. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images.

Local favourite Richard Gasquet was simply a cut above as he dismissed maverick Australian Nick Kyrgios 6-2, 7-6(7), 6-2 to reach the last 16.

The ninth seed relied on his trademark backhand to unsettle Kyrgios, who appeared to be suffering from shoulder pains and needed treatment from the trainer in the opening set.

Gasquet, who has yet to drop a set, played neatly and although he was at times on the back foot because of his opponent's booming forehand, 17th seed Kyrgios's 44 unforced errors were enough to see the Frenchman through.

Gasquet next faces Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori, a 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-4 winner over Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.

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