x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Murray reaches first French fourth round

Third seed Andy Murray reached the French Open fourth round for the first time on Friday after Janko Tipsarevic retired hurt with the Briton leading by two sets.

PARIS // Third seed Andy Murray reached the French Open fourth round for the first time on Friday after Janko Tipsarevic retired hurt with the Briton leading by two sets. The Serb called on the trainer twice during the second set, receiving massages for a hamstring problem and swallowing a couple of tablets. Moving with difficulty, he called it a day at 7-6, 6-3 knowing he could not last another three sets.

"I was feeling the pain in the right leg and I couldn't slide on my forehand, I started putting so much pressure on the left leg. Then the left leg was starting to fall apart, also," Tipsarevic said after the match. "Even though it was 6-3, I was more or less embarrassing myself dragging myself on the court. "The only thing I could do is run on the one side, hit a bomb, and pray it's going in." He added that he expected to be fit in time for the grass court season which starts in 10 days.

Murray made a slow start, allowing Tipsarevic two breaks for a 5-2 lead before the Scot woke up to save two set points on the way to setting up the tiebreaker 7-3 where he nailed the set with a tight-angled backhand. They traded breaks at the start of the second before Murray took the set with a powerful cross court backhand to reach the last 16. Having come back to win the third set of his previous match from being set point down at 5-1, Murray said he was finding it easier to stage recoveries on the surface on which he has yet to win a title.

"You get into more rallies and it's tough to just sort of serve well and win the set comfortably," he said. "One break on this court is nothing. Obviously two is a little bit tougher but you can always find ways to come back." He was pleased to record his best showing in Paris and set his sights on prolonging his stay. "It's been a good start, the first week. It hasn't been physically too demanding and now I feel good going into next week," said Murray, who next faces 13th seed Marin Cilic next.

"I'd love to go further ... I'm playing well enough to. (I) just have to keep the consistency and I can win more matches." *Reuters