Defending champion Rafael Nadal recorded another straight sets victory to reach the fourth round of French Open 2014 by brushing aside Leonardo Mayer of Argentina. He put in a spotless serving performance in the opening set where he converted on both break points prior to sealing the first set. In the second one the Argentine pegged back after suffering an early break, but dropped another service game late in the set which the king of clay served out by holding to love. The opponents then exchanged breaks in the beginning of the set three before the top seed Spaniard claimed four games in a row and turned in the match point number one for a 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 triumph. Next up for Nadal is 23-year-old Serb Dusan Lajovic who eliminated US player Jack Sock by winning 6-4, 7-5, 6-3.
“It was a positive [first week],” said Nadal. “I have three matches that I think I played under control. That’s always positive and good. Always [being in] the second week is great news, and winning in straight sets is a little bit better. I’m happy for that.”
The last year’s finalist David Ferrer was also convincing in the third round match against Andreas Seppi, seed number twenty-one. He outclassed the Italian in the opener before clinching the second set tie-break to double the lead. The fifth-seeded Spaniard’s serve remained intact in the third set, so he could capitalize on the eighth-game break to land a spot in the last 16 thanks to a 6-2, 7-6 (2), 6-3 victory. His next stop will be unseeded compatriot Guillermo Garcia Lopez
Seventh seed Andy Murray needed to endure a five-set thriller – which commenced yesterday afternoon –versus Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber to squeeze into the following round. The British number one returned after dropping the initial set and had an opportunity to move 5-2 ahead in the fourth set, yet the recent Dusseldorf conqueror claimed two breaks in a row to force a decider. Four break points were converted in the early stages of the final set, but none of the contestants managed to pull away as they were still level at 7-7 when it became too dark for the encounter to continue. The Olympic champion was the first to pose a threat after the resumption at the Philippe Chartrier court when he generated a match point at 9-8, but the 28th-seeded German kept cool and finished off the subsequent rally by hitting a smash. Kohlschreiber then came up with a break point in the follow-up game, yet he spurned the chance and Murray held after producing three superb shots. In the end, the Scotsman was the luckier of the players as he was handed a new pair of match points at 11-10 before striking an extraordinary backhand return to win a two-day marathon 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 12-10 with four hours and ten minutes on the clock. He will now square off against 24th-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco who outshone local hope Richard Gasquet to beat him 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.
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