French Open 2017: Andy Murray faces stern Juan Martin del Potro test, Simona Halep takes on Daria Kasatkina

Paris: Andy Murray faces a serious test of his French Open credentials when the world number one takes on Juan Martin del Potro in the third round on Saturday – if the Argentine's body holds up.

Great Britain's Andy Murray (L) and Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro. AFP

Great Britain's Andy Murray (L) and Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro. AFP

Briton Murray has dropped a set in each of his first two rounds while Del Potro, who he beat in the Olympics final last year, has been playing through the pain after being doubtful because of back and shoulder injuries.

The Argentine 29th seed, who benefited from Nicolas Almagro's retirement in the second round, is satisfied with his level but said he could have pulled out of his previous match.

"He is, in my opinion, one of the best players in the world when he is fit and healthy," top seed Murray, who has had a disappointing season, said of the 2009 US Open champion.

The Scot, however, is confident, even if Del Potro beat him in their last encounter at the Davis Cup semi-finals last year.

"I definitely feel like I'm capable of winning that match. I'm playing way better than I was two weeks ago," he said.

Third seed Stan Wawrinka, the 2015 champion, faces a tricky match against Italian 28th seed Fabio Fognini and Japanese eighth seed Kei Nishikori is expected to advance at the expense of South Korea's Chung Hyeon.

In the women's draw, one of the pre-tournament favourites, Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, takes on Pole Magda Linette and former runner-up Simona Halep is up against Russian Daria Kasatkina.

After Kristina "Kiki" Mladenovic took the home crowd by storm during an epic battle on Friday, French players will be looking to join the new darling of Roland Garros in the French Open fourth round on Saturday.

Richard Gasquet plays compatriot Gael Monfils in an all- French third-round match on Court Philippe Chatrier, both men having eased through the draw despite lacking match practice on clay because of injuries.

Opening proceedings on the main showcourts will be Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, who faces ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, while on Court One, 28th seed Caroline Garcia will start as favourite against Taiwan's Hsieh Su-Wei.


Published Date: Jun 03, 2017 12:10 pm | Updated Date: Jun 03, 2017 12:15 pm


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