After toiling in his first two matches of the tournament – both of which saw him pushed to five sets – Andy Murray has begun to find some form at the French Open. After easily overcoming Ivo Karlovic in the third round, Murray faced John Isner in the last 16, and was incredibly impressive as he cruised in the tournament’s quarter-finals.
The first set was the biggest challenge for Murray, and he ended up having to win it via a tie-break. During this tie-break, he showed incredible resolve to stave off two break points, eventually winning it 11-9. He then went 1-0 up in the second set, before the weather intervened in Paris, forcing play to be suspended – not for the first time during this tournament. The break could have seen Murray lose momentum and allow the big-serving American back into the game, however it did the opposite, as Murray easily breezed through the next two sets.
In the end, Murray ended up winning the match 7-6 (11-9) 6-4 6-3, and most importantly he ensured that he spent as little time on court as possible. This could prove vital as the tournament moves forward, as bad weather could force the remaining players to compete in a congested calendar. Murray will also be happy with the fact that Isner failed to break his serve throughout the whole game.
The result means that Murray will now take on Richard Gasquet, who came through a potentially tricky encounter with Kei Nishikori to progress to the quarter-finals. Gasquet might not be ranked as highly as Murray, however he will be roared on by the partisan French crowd when the two players meet. The quarter-final should take place on Tuesday, meaning that Murray is able to have a day off beforehand.
Elsewhere in the draw, defending champion Stan Wawrinka came through a tough match against Victor Troicki. The Swiss player lost the first set, but came back to take the match in four sets. Most expected him to take on Milos Raonic in the next round, however the Canadian was surprisingly eliminated by Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
In the women’s competition, favourite Serena Williams is still on course to claim her 2nd Grand Slam title after beating Kristina Mladenovic in straight sets. Her sister Venus is also still in the draw, after defeating Alize Cornet, while Garbine Muguruza beat Svetlana Kuznetsova to keep her hopes of winning the title on track.