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Murray downs Del Potro, French women feud

PARIS (AP) - Juan Martin del Potro frittered away four chances to claim a gripping opening set against No. 1 Andy Murray at the French Open, including one with a "How did that happen?!" double-fault in a tiebreaker.

It looked a nightmare draw against a player falsely low in the rankings as he continues to work his way back up after wrist problems that nearly ended his career.

Murray arrived in Paris unsure what to expect of himself after a poor run of form on clay but his prospects for matching last year's run to the final suddenly look a lot brighter.

"I expected a tough match and the first set was very, very important", Murray said.

"To play him this early on in a slam is obviously not easy", mused Murray in his post-match press conference. "I played really well during the points today, and like in the last round I found a way to turn the match around".

"It was a very good first set and I was a bit hesitant, but after that I relaxed", Wawrinka said. That's very positive, because I wasn't doing that for the last few tournaments and the last couple of matches I have done it, and totally turned the matches around. "I'm under the impression that I have just come out of bed".

Hopefully I can extend my stay a little longer, I'm not ready to go home quite yet. That's been the case so far. And I think we made a great show for them. But I also know where I have come from, even just 10 days or so ago. "So I like to play chess in my free time".




Murray, who has now defeated Del Potro seven times in 10 meetings, admitted the key to victory was to keep his opponent moving and guessing.

Halep romped through the first set of the third round match in 30 minutes, with an ankle injury she sustained in mid-May giving her no more than a single twinge. Juan Martin kicked off the match in a better fashion, breaking in game 3 for a 4-2 lead, and he had a set point in game 9 on return. After walking up to check the ball's mark on the clay - a line judge and the chair umpire confirmed it was out - del Potro leaned forward on the net, head bowed, the very picture of despair. I couldn't believe that set, that I lost that set, because I had many opportunities to win.

While Khachanov is through to the last 16 at a slam for the first time, it is seven years and 25 tournaments since Murray failed to at least make the fourth round.

In the women's event, France has three women in the last 16 for the first time in 23 years.

Sir Andy Murray will face Karen Khachanov in the fourth round of the French Open after the young Russian beat John Isner 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-3). Next for Wawrinka: No. 15 Gael Monfils or No. 24 Richard Gasquet, a pair of Frenchmen whose match was suspended in the first set Saturday because of rain that washed out play in the evening.

"Whoever won that first set would have the momentum as it would have been very hard to come back in these heavy, slow conditions".

"His reaction at the end of the first set, he was pretty disappointed as he had some opportunities, obviously double-faulting in the tie-break on one of the set points".

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