Andy Murray v Juan Martin del Potro: French Open set for biggest clash so far
|French Open third round: Murray v Del Potro|
|Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: Saturday, 3 June|
|Coverage: Listen to live radio commentary and follow text coverage on BBC Radio 5 live and online.|
Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro will resume their rivalry in the most anticipated match of the French Open so far on Saturday.
The pair will meet in the third round on Philippe Chatrier Court at about 12:00 BST.
Murray, the world number one, beat the Argentine to win Olympic gold last August, but lost their Davis Cup match the following month.
British number two Kyle Edmund plays South Africa's Kevin Anderson at 10:00.
The 22-year-old from Yorkshire is through to the third round of a Grand Slam for only the second time, having reached round four at last year's US Open.
Murray will hope to take another step back towards top form when he plays Del Potro for the 10th time, having won six of their previous encounters.
"I definitely feel like I'm capable of winning that match," said the Scot.
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Murray & Del Potro fighting for fitness
After two epic contests in 2016, Murray and Del Potro will both head into Saturday's match with uncertainly surrounding their form and fitness.
The 30-year-old Scot has struggled with injury and illness this year and, although now suffering only with a mild cough, his relative lack of matches has left him searching for consistency.
He was heard complaining about his own movement as he fought his way past Martin Klizan on Thursday, but drew encouragement from the performance.
Two four-set matches this week have at least seen him run 5,248m over the course of six hours.
"Physically I pulled up well and felt good, so I will gain a lot of confidence from that," he said after his second-round match.
"And also, I hit a lot of balls out there today."
Del Potro, 28, skipped the Australian Open at the start of the year to protect a fragile body that has seen the latter years of his career repeatedly interrupted by injuries.
As a result, he is ranked 30th and so meets the top players earlier in tournaments - he has already lost three times to Novak Djokovic and once to Roger Federer in 2017.
He made it through the second round in Paris when opponent Nicolas Almagro retired with an injury, but the Argentine was himself dealing with a groin problem, later saying: "I felt some pain. I didn't move well."
Looking ahead to Saturday, the 2009 US Open champion added: "Andy is one of the favourites to win this tournament.
"And now I know his game a lot, but I need to be in good shape and physically be stronger to hold a long match if we play a long match, long rallies."
Positivity key for Murray success
Murray lost his composure at times during his second-round match and repeatedly looked to those in his player box for more obvious support.
Coaches Ivan Lendl and Jamie Delgado, along with Davis Cup captain Leon Smith and members of Murray's support team and family, will again be in the box on Saturday.
"I think a lot of the time when I'm playing and especially when I'm frustrated or down, I don't always project a lot of positivity on the court," said Murray.
"Sometimes I think also for my team it's difficult to know exactly how I'm feeling or what it is that I need when I'm on the court.
"So I think my job is really to try to be more positive while I'm out there."
Anderson serve to test Edmund
Edmund might hold the edge in terms of ranking over Anderson at 47 in the world to 56, but the South African has far more experience.
Nine years older, at 31, the 6ft 8in Anderson will play in the third round of a Grand Slam for the 17th time.
He also has a huge weapon in his serve, hitting 34 aces to Edmund's four across the first two rounds.
"He's obviously got a big game, big guy," said Edmund.
"In hot conditions the ball is really pinging around, so Saturday I've just got to be on it. One match at a time.
"He's got a great serve and good groundstrokes. He was out a bit with injury, but before that he was consistent at the top of the game and getting good results."