French Open: Andy Murray beats Juan Martin del Potro, but Kyle Edmund loses

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Roland Garros
Andy Murray
Murray, who has won two Wimbledon titles and a US Open, is hoping to become only the second Briton to win the men's singles at Roland Garros
French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 28 May-11 June
Coverage: Listen to live radio commentary and follow text coverage of selected matches on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and online.

Andy Murray saw off Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro with a superb straight-set win to reach the fourth round of the French Open.

The world number one, 30, won a gripping 84-minute opening set on his way to a 7-6 (10-8) 7-5 6-0 victory.

The Scot, bidding for his first Roland Garros title, goes on to face American John Isner or Russia's Karen Khachanov.

British number two Kyle Edmund's run came to an end with a defeat by big-serving Kevin Anderson in five sets.

The South African, 31, fought back to win 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-4) 5-7 6-1 6-4 in a near four-hour match.

Murray shows signs of best form

Murray hails 'big win' over Del Potro

After searching for consistency in his opening two matches, Murray found something approaching his best form to win the most anticipated match of the first week.

Former US Open champion Del Potro, whose ranking has slid after injuries, posed an unusually severe test for the third round and he began strongly.

The Argentine's huge forehand drew regular gasps from the crowd, as well as what Murray later described as "a very manly grunt" from Del Potro.

But once he had levelled in a high-quality first set, Murray edged a thrilling tie-break and then dominated in arguably his best performance of 2017.

"I played some good matches at the beginning of the year, but definitely in the clay-court season, the second or third sets were the best I have played, for sure," Murray said.

He out-scored the powerful Argentine with 41 winners to 35, all the while mixing up his game with deft drop shots and sharp volleys.

The match turned late in the first set when Del Potro failed to serve it out and Murray eventually took the tie-break with his third set point, having saved four.

A distraught Del Potro slumped on the net post for most of the changeover, pausing only to smack down his racquet in anger before moments later dropping serve at the start of the second set.

Andy Murray beats Juan Martin del Potro at the French Open
Del Potro was competing at Roland Garros for the first time since 2012 following his injury problems

"I couldn't believe that I lost that set, because I had many opportunities to win," he said.

"But this happens when you play against the number one in the world."

There was no way back, especially after the Argentine - who struggled with a groin injury on the previous round - called for the doctor.

Murray's hopes faltered only briefly when he failed to serve out at 5-4, but the Scot broke serve once again in the following game and then reeled off the last seven games in a row.

"Mentally I feel pretty good just now," he said.

"I'm happy with how the match was today. I'm working things out whilst I'm playing the matches. The really, really important part of my game is making adjustments.

"The tactical side is very important for me."

'Winning the first set gave me momentum'

After that marathon first set, the match quickly turned in Murray's favour as the Scot went on to clinch the final set in just 28 minutes.

"Whoever won that first set had big momentum," said Murray, who beat Del Potro in the Olympic gold-medal match at last year's Rio Games.

"It's slow and heavy, and coming back in these conditions is difficult.

"I thought I played some good tennis towards the end and I expected a tough match.

"It was tough. I think he was playing much better than me in the first set. Both of us hand some chances in the first set, the second set was the same. Both those sets could have gone either way."

Pride for Edmund in defeat

Edmund, 22, had hoped to match his best Grand Slam run by reaching the last 16, but Anderson's greater experience told in the latter stages of a hard-fought contest.

Edmund held a slight edge in terms of ranking over Anderson, the Yorkshireman ranked nine places higher at 47th in the world, but the South African was playing in the third round of a Grand Slam for the 17th time.

By contrast, it was only Edmund's second appearance in the last 32 of a major.

"I played a good match and am disappointed to lose," said Edmund.

"I would love to win and get to the fourth round, and especially win that type of match in the fifth set like that.

"But, you know, quality by him. And he just beat me."

Anderson, who was a top-10 player before being hampered by a series of injuries, will now meet 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic in the fourth round.

Kevin Anderson
Anderson's best Grand Slam performance is reaching the quarter-finals at the 2015 US Open


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