PARIS, May 27, 2016
The third round of the French Open in Paris started with the bottom half of the men’s draw. The tournament’s second seed headlined the action on Friday.
After being extended to five-sets in his opening two matches for the first time at a Grand Slam, Andy Murray ordered and received a less physical contest in his third round match, beating big-serving Ivo Karlovic 6-1, 6-4, 7-6.
Murray withstood 14 aces, hitting eight of his own and produced only four unforced errors to seal victory in one hour and 56 minutes.
“It was very close, especially in the third set. He fought right to the end but I started quickly and obviously it is great to get off court in a relatively quick match,” Murray said.
“Yesterday I was a bit tired. I had a very light practice yesterday and just tried to sort of keep my feet up and, you know, recover as best as possible, tried to get as much sleep as I could, spend a lot of time with the physio, and then, yeah, just resting to try to give myself the best chance to feel good today.”
With John Isner, Murray will take on another tall guy in the round of the last 16. The 2.08m-man from the United Stated fired 34 aces to beat Teymuraz Gagashvili 7-6, 4-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.
In a highly expected encounter between Richard Gasquet and Nick Kyrgios on court Philippe Chatrier, it was the Frenchman extending his head to head record lead over the Australian youngster to 5-2. The ninth seed won 6-2, 7-6, 6-2.
“It was not easy. You never know what could happen, if I’m losing the second set, another set. I was able to take a lot of confidence, after winning that set. I’m happy with the way I played. Great for me to win against Nick in three sets. He’s one of the biggest players now, competing very well in the last two months. Of course it’s a big victory, especially for me on center court at home with my crowd. It’s very nice for me,” Gasquet told after delighting the spectactors on the biggest court in Paris.
— Roland Garros (@rolandgarros) 27. Mai 2016
The 29-year-old local will take on Kei Nishikori next. The tournament’s number five fought past Fernando Verdasco, winning 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-4.
“I am very happy. Tough, tough five sets. He started playing much better in the third and fourth set, and even the first couple of games in the final set, too. So it wasn’t easy, but very happy to win,” Nishikori said and added about his next opponent:
“We have been playing a lot, two times already in Madrid and Rome. I try to be well prepared. First of all, I have to recover well from today’s match. He is from here, so it is not easy but I have a good feeling against Richard, especially after winning the last two matches. So I will try to play good tennis.”
Albert Ramos caused the upset of the day, stunning the tournament’s number 23 Jack Sock 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. The lefty from Spain has reached the second week at Roland Garros for the first time. The Barcelona native will next face eighth seed Milos Raonic, who knocked out with Andrej Martin the last qualifier in the draw, winning 7-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Reigning champion Stan Wawrinka also made his way into the fourth round with a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Jeremy Chardy.
“Great match. I’m very happy with the level of my game. Everything that I did today was pretty high-level. I hit the ball well. I was moving around well. I managed to do what I wanted. I played quite heavily. I was “the” aggressive player to try and prevent him from playing, and I’m really happy with what I did today,” Wawrinka was pleased with his performance.
The third seed from Switzerland will next play Viktor Troicki, who dismissed Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.
“I know him well,” Wawrinka told. “I played against him twice on a hard surface. I think the last time I played on clay was in Belgrade, a three-hour match. He plays well and his own round of tennis. He plays from the baseline. First service is pretty good. Second ball not so good. But it all depends on what’s going to happen on there.”
News of the day obviously took place off the courts, when Rafael Nadal announced that he has to pull out of the French Open due to a wrist injury.