04 Jun 2012

Murray battles back for a place in the quarterfinals

News Article

Photo: Paul ZimmerAndy Murray (GBR)

DAY 9: Andy Murray is making a habit of starting slowly at this year's Roland Garros and when he slipped to a 6-1 loss in the first set of his round of 16 clash against Richard Gasquet it looked like a case of deja vu.

The Brit overcame a hostile crowd as well as a talented opponent to rattle off the next three sets and win 16 64 61 62 to advance to the quarterfinals where he will meet the ever-consistent Spaniard David Ferrer.

Ferrer got the better of his countryman Marcel Granollers 63 62 60 to maintain his perfect start to this year's French Open, having reached the last 8 without the loss of a set.

However, it is another Spaniard who is stealing the limelight for cruising into the quarters. Reigning champion Rafael Nadal saw off Argentina's Juan Monaco 62 60 60 - winning 17 straight games in the process - to move into the quarterfinals in Paris for the loss of just 19 games.

It's only the sixth time in the Open Era that any man has reached the last 8 of a Grand Slam having lost as few games having played best-of-five matches in a 128 draw without any byes.

He will face another Spaniard who has also yet to drop a set, Nicolas Almagro, in the quarterfinals. Almagro defeated No. 8 seed Janko Tipsarevic 64 64 64 on Monday.

There were also wins for Juan Martin del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in matches that had been carried over from Sunday, which means the Top 6 seeds have reached the quarterfinals at this year's Roland Garros.

It's only the 3rd time in the Open Era that this has ever happened, and remarkably it has only ever occured on the clay courts of Roland Garros. It must be noted that the first time the Top 6 seeds made the quarterfinals was in 1983 - the last time there was a French winner in Paris.

On the women's side the draw continues to surprise. Defending champion Li Na was knocked out by qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova - the first time a women's defending champ had been defeated by a qualifier - and she will play Petra Kvitova for a place in the semifinals.

Kvitova ended the run of USA's Varvara Lepchenko with an easy 62 61 victory. Maria Sharapova remains on course to win the only Grand Slam title that has thus far eluded her as she defeated Klara Zakopalova, but even that mis-match was not without incident.

Sharapova lost the second set tiebreak 7-5 but eventually triumphed 64 67 62. She will meet Kaia Kanepi in the quarterfinals after the Estonian No. 23 seed battled past Netherland's Arantxa Rus 61 46 60.

Follow all the action from Paris on the official tournament website: RolandGarros.com