French Open 2017: Andy Murray beats Juan Martin del Potro, Simona Halep advances to last-16

Paris: Top-ranked Andy Murray beat Juan Martin del Potro in a match much closer than the straight-set scoreline might indicate to reach the French Open's fourth round.

Murray got past the 29th-seeded del Potro 7-6 (8), 7-5, 6-0 on Saturday at Court Philippe Chatrier in a match that lasted nearly 3 hours. It was a rematch of the 2016 Rio Olympics gold-medal final won by Murray.

Andy Murray celebrates during his third round match against Juan Martin Del Potro. Reuters

Andy Murray celebrates during his third round match against Juan Martin Del Potro. Reuters

Del Potro had four set points in the opening set Saturday but lost each one, including when he double-faulted while ahead 7-6 in the tiebreaker.

Murray is a three-time major champion and was the runner-up at Roland Garros a year ago. He has made it to the fourth round for the eighth time in 10 appearances at the clay-court tournament.

Del Potro was the 2009 U.S. Open champion. This was his first French Open since 2012 because of a series of operations on his left wrist.

Romanian third seed and 2014 runner-up Simona Halep sealed her place in the French Open fourth round on Saturday with a 6-0, 7-5 win over Russia's Daria Kasatkina.

Halep, 25, is viewed as one of this year's title favourites at Roland Garros after winning the Madrid Open and reaching the final in Rome last month.

She raced through the opening set against 26th seed Kasatkina but needed to save four set points in the second before clinching victory.

Halep will face Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro for a place in the quarter-finals.

"It's nice to be in Paris in the fourth round," Halep said on Court Suzanne Lenglen moments after her win.

She was asked to say a few words in French — and hesitated.

"I only say 'Merci beaucoup' (Thank you very much) but I hope I can learn," Halep said. "I like it a lot, but it's tough to talk."

The 25-year-old Romanian, runner-up here in 2014, was a doubt for the tournament with an ankle injury.

"Well now it's pretty OK. I can run, I can slide everywhere. I can move pretty well," Halep said. "I can say I'm strong on court."

South Africa's Kevin Anderson matched his best run at Roland Garros by reaching the last 16 on Saturday with a five-set win over Britain's Kyle Edmund.

Anderson, who made the French Open fourth round in 2013 and 2014, twice recovered from a set down to advance 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/4), 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 in just under four hours.

A former top 10 player, the world number 56 will meet Croatian seventh seed Marin Cilic for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Defeat for Edmund, born in Johannesburg like Anderson, means Britain have still never had more than one man in the last 16 at Roland Garros in the Open era.

Anderson missed this year's Australian Open with a hip injury. His best Grand Slam performance was his run to the 2015 US Open quarter-finals.

With inputs from AFP and AP

Updated Date: Jun 03, 2017 19:44 PM

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