World number one Andy Murray of Great Britain on Thursday set up a mouth-watering third-round clash with Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the men’s singles of the French Open with both players registering contrasting wins.
Indian players too had a good day at Roland Garros yesterday. Unseeded doubles pair Purav Raja and Divij Sharan defeated 15th seeds Oliver Marach of Austria and Mate Pavic of Croatia 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to enter the third round of the men’s doubles competition. And in a first round mixed doubles match, seventh seeds Rohan Bopanna and Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada combined well to easily dispatch Aussie pair Jessica Moore and Matt Reid 6-0, 6-1; in a mere 39 minutes.
Last year’s runner-up Murray entered the third round with a hard-fought 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3) win over Martin Klizan of Slovakia. “I expected a tough match. Martin goes for his shots, he can hit winners with that forehand from anywhere on the court,” said Murray. “It will be very tough. Juan Martin is playing a lot better than his ranking.”
On the other hand, Del Potro’s first rendezvous with Paris in five years was comparatively easy as he sailed into the third round after a sobbing Nicolas Almagro retired with a knee injury. Almagro lost the first set 0-6, came back to win the second 6-3, but when the score was 1-1 in the third set, he retired.
Del Potro was lauded after he embraced the Spaniard. “I tried to find good words for him at that moment. I say to him, try to be calm. Try to think about his family, his baby. Sometimes the heart is first more than the tennis match,” said Del Potro.
In the women's competition, Latvian 17th seed Anastasija Sevastova defeated Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-3, 6-0 to enter the third round.
Women’s title favourites second seed Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic and third-seeded Simona Halep of Romania also won their matches to enter the third round.
On Friday, unseeded Leander Paes of India and S. Lipsky of the USA are to play Spaniards D. Marrero and T. Robredo in a second round match. Then, Paes will pair up with Martina Hingis to play against fourth seeds Katarina Srebotnik of Slovakia and Raven Klaasen of South Africa.
Bopanna and Sania Mirza will also be seen in action on Friday. While ninth seeds Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas Uruguay will clash with unseeded Treat Huey of Philippines and Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan in a second-round men’s doubles match, second seeds Sania and Ivan Dodig of Croatia will meet unseeded Croatian pair Darija Jurak and Mate Pavic.