Murray limps through to next round

Andy Murray joins Djokovic and Nadal in the fourth round of the French Open but will have a scan on an ankle injury

Sixth-seed Na Li of China serves up a quick third round victory over Sorana Cirstea  [GALLO/GETTY] 

World number four Andy Murray will have a scan on an injured ankle after limping past German Michael Berrer 6-2 6-3 6-2 in the third round of the French Open on Saturday.

The Briton twisted his right ankle at the beginning of the second set but overcame the pain to win in two hours seven minutes.

“I don’t know if I will be 100 percent fit. I don’t know if I will be playing the next match. Maybe I will be,” Murray told a news conference.

Murray thrashed Germany’s Michael Berrer despite turning his ankle when trying to slide on the clay to reach a
ball early in the second set.

The Briton, yet to win a grand slam title having lost to Djokovic in the Australian Open final in January, had extensive strapping and was able to carry on despite continued winces and an immediate loss of serve.

The lasting effects of the injury were not clear as the German underdog was so weak that Murray did not have to test the ankle hugely having started the match in much better form.

Injury permitting, Murray will face Serbian 15th seed Victor Troicki, who beat Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-4, on Monday.

40 matches and counting

A relentless Novak Djokovic shrugged off Juan Martin Del Potro to join Rafa Nadal in the French Open fourth round on Saturday.

An impromptu night’s rest after Friday’s match was suspended because of bad light at the end of the second set allowed Djokovic to swing the momentum back his way and take his 2011 winning streak to 40 matches with a 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-2 triumph.

Champion Nadal stuttered through his first two matches but was all smiles in a 6-1 6-3 6-0 win over Croat qualifier Antonio Veic with his recent vulnerability only in evidence on first serve in the first set and when broken twice in the second.

“I felt things were much better than the previous days. I’m happy about that, I’ve got to continue that way,” Nadal said.

Bidding for a sixth title here in seven years, the Spaniard enters round four with much more confidence but with much more dangerous opponents to come who could exploit a nervousness caused by recent Madrid and Rome losses to Djokovic.

The Serb faced his toughest test since those finals when coming back out onto a packed and sunbaked court with 2009 U.S. Open champion and 25th seed Del Potro threatening to upset all the pre-tournament predictions of more Djokovic success.

But any belief the Argentine has picked up by levelling late in Friday’s gloom evaporated when Djokovic broke for 4-2 in the third set having earlier fought off two break points including with one tremendous slugging rally of 23 shots.

Del Potro then double-faulted to hand the world number two one of three breaks in the third game of the fourth as he nears John McEnroe’s record of 42 wins since the start of a year.

Djokovic now locks horns with home favourite Richard Gasquet, who won through on Friday along with Roger Federer.

Women’s title wide open

China’s lightning-quick Na Li earlier wrapped up an easy women’s third-round victory over Romanian Sorana Cirstea before most of the fans had arrived.

Big queues for the middle Saturday were still forming on the streets when sixth-seed Li, the Australian Open runner-up, sealed a 6-2 6-2 win on a quarter-full Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Organisers were happy with Li’s speedy work given an elongated programme because of Djokovic’s tie being rolled over.

Over on Court Philippe Chatrier down the tree and boutique-lined way, fourth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus easily got the better of Italy’s Roberta Vinci with a 6-3 6-2 win which further highlighted her strong title credentials.

“I think I played very well. I was serving well, dominating, and trying to be as aggressive on her serve,” Azarenka said.

With tops seeds Caroline Wozniacki and Kim Clijsters crashing out and several players missing with injury, any woman left could realistically triumph in next Saturday’s final and Azarenka has continued her good form from the build-up events.

Czech ninth seed Petra Kvitova, who won the hardcourt Paris Open in February, is another contender and beat American Vania King 6-4 6-2 as Ekaterina Makarova and Andrea Petkovic also won.

Source : Reuters


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