Struggling Murray tames power-hitter Klizan

Del Potro even helped Almagro pack up his tennis bag before the 31-year-old before the three-time Roland Garros quarter-finalist left the arena.

Del Potro, an Argentine who has faced his own injuries, talked quietly with Spain's Almagro before the two walked slowly back to the bench. "I don't feel good enough after this sadness situation".

Andy Murray looked forward positively to his enticing clash with Juan Martin Del Potro after scrapping his way into the third round of the French Open.

At 1-all in the third set - del Potro took the first, then lost the second - there was the startling way Almagro paused at the baseline, placed his hands on his knees and shook his head, then fell backward onto the court.

Del Potro, playing Paris for the first time in five years after battling a series of wrist injuries, also suffered an injury scare himself when he pulled up, holding his left leg in the second set.

Paris: World number one Andy Murray's struggles this season on clay came back to plague him at the French Open on Thursday as he ground out an unconvincing 6-7 (3) 6-2 6-2 7-6 (3) win against Slovakian power-hitter Martin Klizan.

Murray has won six of his last nine matches on clay court.

'We played great battles previous year, one each, ' said Del Potro. Try to think about his family, his baby.

The world No 1 needed three hours and 35 minutes to defeat the world No 50 from Slovakia, eventually coming through 6-7 (3/7) 6-2 6-2 7-6 (7/3).

Del Potro, who is making his French Open comeback after a five-year absence, thrashed Guido Pella in his opener before advancing to the last 32 when Nicolas Almagro succumbed to a knee injury. I said to try to be calm.

But Murray, who beat the world No30 in Rio last summer to claim Olympic gold, believes Del Potro will pose him a serious challenge.

"It seems like everyone thinks I didn't play particularly well, but there was some good stuff against a tough opponent". My physio knows how to treat that.

'I know his game a lot but I need to be physically stronger to hold a long match.

Controversial Australian 18th seed Nick Kyrgios is also out after he was beaten 5-7 6-4 6-1 6-2 by South African Kevin Anderson.

Unseeded 21-year-old Karen Khachanov of Russian Federation continued his impressive debut, beating Czech 13th seed Tomas Berdych, a semi-finalist seven years ago, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4. "I only had a week practice, so I am just very happy to be in the third round". Del Potro climbed over the net and walked over to check on Almagro.

  • Julie Sanders