The French Open men’s draw will be down to 12 names going into Monday with half the fourth round matches played with Andy Murray‘s match amongst an interesting quartet to complete it. He plays the youngest player still in the draw in Karen Kachanov, a young Russian who has making waves at this tournament not long after turning 21.
Murray had a surprisingly trouble free time in the last round, winning in straights over Juan Martin Del Potro 7-6 7-5 6-0. The first set could have gone much worse for him as he had to save set points on return both at 4-5* and in the eventual tiebreak that occurred. Failing to serve out the second at *5-4 didn’t faze him as it did Del Potro, as he went on to break back and not drop a single game from then on. “The second or third sets were the best I have played, for sure.” Murray commented after the match.
Kachanov has become a mainstay of the tour this year, maintaining a spot in or close to the top 50 for much of the year. The live rankings currently project that he will hit a career high of 39, a number that could go much higher should he carry on this run. The way that the Russian has taken out two former top 10 players in fairly routine fashion is extremely impressive. He held his nerve against Rome semi finalist John Isner, winning a fourth set tiebreak and the match after blowing the third from 5-2 up. More so, he was barely challenged by Tomas Berdych in the round prior, winning without facing a single break point.
“I think it’s going to be a good match and good experience for me,” Khachanov added, referring to his impending clash against Murray. “I’m in the fourth round, and I will try to prepare and to do my best. I think that is what we are looking for, to play on the big arenas like here, centre court, and to play against the World No. 1. I’m really looking forward to it.” It will be their first meeting and for Murray could be a lot more difficult than a John Isner matchup would have been, given the familiarity between the two players.
“I’m starting to feel better. I was looking forward to Roland-Garros, I’ve struggled the last six, seven weeks coming in but I have great memories here and hopefully I can now keep it going.” Murray said. Despite a much improved round three performance, Murray is still vulnerable and Khachanov has a legitimate chance if he can carry on his form of the past few rounds.
Prediction – Andy Murray in four sets