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FRENCH OPEN FOURTH ROUND REVIEW: Murray tops Isner as Serena, Djokovic win rain delayed matches

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Embed from Getty Images

Andy Murray has booked his place in the quarterfinals of the French Open after the Brit dispatched John Isner 7-6 6-4 6-3. Murray crucially edged a dramatic first set tiebreak as Isner couldn’t capitalise on his opportunities, but the world number two was much more comfortable from then on as a single break in the following two sets were enough for Murray to claim victory over the American.

In the opening set, Isner dominated using his powerful delivery to ensure he held serve easily as expected, whilst it was Murray who needed to save a few break points throughout as the set eventually reached a tiebreak. In the tie-break, Murray looked on course to take the set with an early lead but a crucial forehand error meant his opponent had restored the deficit. Isner then held a set point after hammering a forehand return, but Murray denied him in spectacular style, somehow retrieving a strong serve before calmly producing a backhand passing shot winner down the line. The Brit continued to keep himself ahead and eventually it was Murray who prevailed when Isner’s forehand drifted wide, to claim a pulsating set of tennis.

As the second set unfolded, both players held their opening service games but with Murray leading 2-1 and Isner forced at deuce, play was suspended due to rain. When both players resumed the contest later on, Isner needed his devastating first serve and net play to avoid conceding the break, but the unrelenting pressure from Murray finally paid off when the American served down 5-4, as Murray put away an easy volley to seal the crucial break, and more importantly, take a two set lead.

In the third set, Murray quickly gained an early break when Isner netted a drop shot, as the world number two took complete control using deep groundstrokes and delicate drop-shots to successfully manoeuvre his opponent all around the court. Even though Murray couldn’t capitalise on his chances to go up a double break and needed to save break points, including whilst serving for the match, the Brit produced a series of timely accurate serves to eventually close out the match with an ace and book his place in the quarterfinals. Next, Murray will face Richard Gasquet, who kept French hopes alive by defeating Kei Nishikori 6-4 6-2 4-6 6-2.

Also, Stan Wawrinka continued the defence of his title with a four set win over Viktor Troicki, but he will play Albert Ramos Vinolas in the next round after the Spaniard stunned Milos Raonic in straight sets. However, due to the heavy rainfall that completely suspended Monday’s schedule and meant little play on Tuesday, many women’s and men’s fourth round matches were still yet to be completed. But, once the matches were back underway on Wednesday, Novak Djokovic defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 3-6 6-4 6-1 7-5 and will meet Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals, whilst David Goffin set up an intriguing encounter against Dominic Thiem after both players progressed with four set wins.

On the women’s side, Serena Williams completed her rain-delayed match by easing past Elina Svitolina 6-1 6-1, as her sister Venus and fellow American Madison Keys exited in straight sets. However, Simona Halep and Agnieszka Radwanska had established a lead in their respective fourth round matches before the rain delays, but they both were eventually upset, with Samantha Stosur knocking out Halep in straight sets whilst Tsvetana Pironkova overcame Radwanska 2-6 6-3 6-3. Meanwhile, Garbine Muguruza secured her place in the quarter-finals after dispatching Svetlana Kuznetsova, and she will play Shelby Rogers next.

French Open 2016 Novak Djokovic Serena Williams

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