French Open Day 7: Murray finds clay game

Surround sound came to Court Philippe Chatrier today.

An appreciative and enthusiastic crowd chanted "Delpo!"

The powerful Del Potro peppered Murray with a barrage of forehands in the first set, but faded fast and was beaten by the rampant top seed in straight sets.

'Maybe I didn't start the best, but made some adjustments, made some changes in the match tactically, ' he said.

Andy Murray has admitted that Juan Martin del Potro proved a "tough" opponent during his 7-6 7-5 6-0 victory over the Argentine at the French Open.

"But I thought I played some good tennis towards the end", he said. Whoever won that set had momentum.

I guess if they were on their phones or looking completely disinterested, or cracking up and having a laugh up there, I would probably find it a bit hard to concentrate. Anderson served 24 aces during the third-round clash to take his total at the tournament to 58, two clear of American John Isner, whose match against Russia's Karen Khachanov was called off due to rain.

The match was a rematch of last summer's Rio Olympic gold-medal match.

Murray mixed up his game expertly, while Del Potro ran out of steam and the Brit felt it was his most impressive display of the season on the red surface.

The rain, which became increasingly heavy around 5 p.m. local time, affected a total of 10 matches on different courts.

For two sets, it glittered with some tremendous running strikes, tension and nerves from both men.

30-year-old Murray will now go on to contest for a place in the quarter-finals against either John Isner or Karen Khachanov of Russian Federation. Del Potro had four set points and served a double fault on one of them.

7-5, 6-0, against the risky Argentine and was striking the ball with renewed confidence after a turbulent start to the year.

The first set will go down in Roland Garros folklore as the pair battled it out for 84 minutes, with Murray going down a break early in the match before retrieving it as Del Potro served for the set.

Joining Murray in the fourth round is 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka. This time, he converted. After walking up to check the ball's mark on the clay - a line judge and the chair umpire confirmed it was out - del Potro leaned forward on the net, head bowed, the very picture of despair. In fact to be fair Del Potro was the aggressor for most of that first set.

Del Potro, whose career has been blighted by a recurring wrist injury, needed a good start against the world No. 1, but when he lost a tight first-set tiebreak, the stage was set. The next came at 5-4, but he netted a backhand, then double-faulted to grant a break point that Murray claimed with a forehand victor.

Unapologetic, Del Potro shot back: "You and your mother - it's the same, always". So he really used my weakness at that point.

The Wimbledon victor slashed an ace down the middle for a two-set lead.

Murray knocked further stuffing out of Del Potro in the second set before picking him clean with some sublime tennis in the third.

It was the first shutout set in the 33 sets these two champions have played against each other. Cornet won 6-2, 6-1.

Anderson missed this year's Australian Open with a hip injury. Cilic is the 2005 Roland Garros boys' champion.

Women's 3rd rd: Caroline Wozniacki (Den) bt Catherine Bellis (USA) 6-2 2-6 6-3, Carla Suarez Navarro (Esp) bt Elena Vesnina (Rus) 6-4 6-4, Simona Halep (Rom) bt Daria Kasatkina (Rus) 6-0 7-5, Caroline Garcia (Fra) bt Hsieh Su-wei (Tpe) 6-4 4-6 9-7, Alize Cornet (Fra) bt Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol) 6-2 6-1.

In the women's event, France have three women in the last 16 for the first time in 23 years.

- Fernando Verdasco beat Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 6-2 6-1 6-3.

Many may never have seen the 2009 US Open champion play at all in the flesh and they were taken aback by the power he was able to generate.

  • Julie Sanders