Anderson into last 16 in Paris
SOUTH Africa’s Kevin Anderson matched his best run at Roland Garros by reaching the last 16 yesterday with a five-set win over Britain’s Kyle Edmund.
Anderson, who made the French Open fourth round in 2013 and 2014, twice recovered from a set down to advance 6-7 (6/8) 7-6 (7/4) 5-7 6-1 6-4 in just under four hours.
A former top 10 player, the world number 56 will meet Croatian seventh seed Marin Cilic for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Defeat for Edmund, born in Johannesburg like Anderson, means Britain have still never had more than one man in the last 16 at Roland Garros in the Open era.
Anderson missed this year’s Australian Open with a hip injury. His best grand slam performance was his run to the 2015 US Open quarterfinals.
Murray plays into form
TOP seed Andy Murray eased into the last-16 of the French Open 7-6(8) 7-5 6-0 over a flagging Juan Martin Del Potro.
Murray did enough to keep his nose in front throughout, while the giant Argentine was unable to reprise the heroics that saw the pair produce such magic in last year’s Rio Olympics gold medal match.
While Murray won that affair too — and their only previous grand slam meeting — Del Potro had triumphed in their most recent clash, so the Scot was alert to the dangers.
Del Potro, whose career has been blighted by a recurring wrist injury, needed a good start against the world No 1, but when he lost a tight first set tiebreak, the stage was set.
Losing that opener on a disputed line call cut Del Potro deep.
Murray jogged to his seat at the changeover, the Argentine stood at the net, bent at the waist, his head resting on the netcord.
There he stayed until the umpire called time. They traded blows in the second set, Murray creeping ahead.
But a monumental effort by Del Potro saw him break back for 5-5, only to instantly drop serve again as Murray yanked him around the court with tight angles, drop shots and lobs.
This time the Scot would make no mistake and crunched it out with his fourth ace of the match.
Del Potro’s spirit was broken, and the vocal Paris crowd were quelled.
With some exquisite returning and acutely angled groundstrokes, Murray raced through the final set to set up a fourth-round clash with either American 21st seed John Isner or Russian Karen Khachanov.
Simona on course
ROMANIAN third seed and 2014 runner-up Simona Halep sealed her place in the French Open fourth round with a 6-0 7-5 win over Russia’s Daria Kasatkina.
Halep, 25, is viewed as one of this year’s title favourites at Roland Garros after winning the Madrid Open and reaching the final in Rome last month.
She raced through the opening set against 26th seed Kasatkina but needed to save four set points in the second before clinching victory.
Halep will face Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro for a place in the quarterfinals.
Alize Cornet and Caroline Garcia, French compatriots but barely on speaking terms after a bitter feud, will clash for a place in the quarterfinals.
Cornet reached the last 16 for just the second time with a 6-2 6-1 win over Polish ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who lost all her seven service games.
Garcia, seeded 28, made the fourth round of a slam for the first time with a 6-4 4-6 9-7 win over Taiwan’s world number 109 Hsieh Su-Wei.
Those wins guaranteed that the home nation will have at least one quarterfinalist in Paris for the first time since Marion Bartoli made it in 2011.
However, Cornet admitted that her relationship with Garcia has virtually broken down. — AFP
TRUE GRIT: Kevin Anderson twice came from a set down to beat Britain’s Kyle Edmund and enter the round of 16