Wawrinka, Murray through to last 16 at French Open

Andy Murray did enough to keep his nose in front throughout his match against Juan Martin Del Potro while Stan Wawrinka continued his fine run with a win over Fabio Fognini.

Photo by: @rolandgarros via Twitter
Photo by: @rolandgarros via Twitter

Stan Wawrinka is yet to concede a set in this year's French Open.

Updated Jun 7, 2017

World number three Stan Wawrinka cruised into the French Open fourth round against an out-of-sorts Fabio Fognini on Saturday, winning 7-6(2) 6-0 6-2 as the Italian's game fell apart after a strong first set.

The 2015 champion in Paris has yet to drop a set in the 2017 tournament, but this time he came close to conceding the first, which the unpredictable Italian failed to serve out before losing in a one-sided tiebreak.

Fognini, seeded 28, had won two of his three matches against top-five opponents this year, beating then fourth-ranked Kei Nishikori in Miami and number one Andy Murray in Rome.

But on a murky Court Suzanne Lenglen where the weather matched his own darkening mood, the Italian lost the second set without taking a game, punctuating wild forehands with a clutch of double faults before getting treatment on his left knee.

At 5-2 down in the third set, Fognini saved two match points before the 32-year-old Swiss fired down an unreturnable serve on the third.

"It was a very good first set and I was a bit hesitant, but after that I relaxed," Wawrinka said courtside.

"I am playing very well at the moment but we all know how that can go in a grand slam... Each game gets more difficult."

Murray

Top seed Andy Murray eased into the last 16 with a 7-6(8) 7-5 6-0 victory over a flagging Juan Martin Del Potro.

Murray did enough to keep his nose in front throughout, while the giant Argentine was unable to reprise the heroics that saw the pair produce such magic in last year's Rio Olympics gold medal match.

While Murray won that affair too -- and their only previous grand slam meeting -- Del Potro had triumphed in their most recent clash, so the Scot was alert to the dangers.

The pair traded blows in the second set with Murray creeping ahead. But a monumental effort by Del Potro saw him break back for 5-5, only to instantly drop serve again as Murray yanked him around the court with tight angles, drop shots and lobs.

This time the Scot would make no mistake and crunched it out with his fourth ace of the match.

Del Potro's spirit was broken, and the vocal Paris crowd were quelled.

With some exquisite returning and acutely angled groundstrokes, Murray raced through the final set to set up a fourth-round clash with either American 21st seed John Isner or Russian Karen Khachanov.

Halep

Simona Halep survived a third-round scare against young pretender Daria Kasatkina in a Roland Garros rollercoaster on Saturday, winning 6-0 7-5 after initially threatening to brush past the 20-year-old Russian with ease.

Kasatkina began tentatively against the Romanian third seed in what looked like a case of big-match nerves.

Hitting powerfully on both wings from the back of the court, Halep romped through the first set in 30 minutes and led 3-1 in the second.

The 20-year-old Russian then sparked into life, winning the next four games and holding three set points in the 10th game before Halep edged through, closing out the match with a net chord that Kasatkina failed to return.

"I played really well at the beginning," Halep, who won the Madrid title and reached the Rome final in the run up to Roland Garros, said courtside.

"She was coming back really strongly and I think my energy went a bit down... She's a really tough opponent."

Cilic

Seventh seed Marin Cilic established himself as a contender for the French Open title after sweeping past Feliciano Lopez 6-1 6-3 6-3 on Saturday to reach the last 16 without dropping a set.

The 2014 US Open winner, who warmed up for the year's second grand slam by capturing his first claycourt title in five years in Istanbul last month, delivered a near-perfect performance to equal his best-ever showing in Paris.

He whipped 31 winners past the helpless Spaniard, who at 35 was the oldest player left in the draw and whose big serve lost some of its edge due to humid and cloudy conditions.

"My return was working extremely well. I am very pleased with that," said Cilic, who reached 100 Tour-level victories on clay. "The heavier conditions favoured me a bit... because he has a huge serve."

SATURDAY RESULTS

Men's Singles

Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland) beat Fabio Fognini (Italy) 7-6(2) 6-0 6-2
Andy Murray (Britain) beat Juan Martin del Potro (Argentina) 7-6(8) 7-5 6-0
Kevin Anderson (South Africa) beat Kyle Edmund (Britain) 6-7(6) 7-6(4) 5-7 6-1 6-4
Fernando Verdasco (Spain) beat Pablo Cuevas (Uruguay) 6-2 6-1 6-3
Marin Cilic (Croatia) beat Feliciano Lopez (Spain) 6-1 6-3 6-3

Women's Singles

Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) beat Catherine Bellis (U.S.) 6-2 2-6 6-3
Simona Halep (Romania) beat Daria Kasatkina (Russia) 6-0 7-5
Caroline Garcia (France) beat Hsieh Su-Wei (Taiwan) 6-4 4-6 9-7
Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) beat Elena Vesnina (Russia) 6-4 6-4
Alize Cornet (France) beat Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) 6-2 6-1

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies