PARIS: Britain’s Andy Murray staved off a storming comeback from Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus to claim his place in the fourth round of the French Open with a 6-2, 6-3, 0-6, 6-2 victory on Friday.
The fourth-seeded Scot, a quarter-finalist last year, looked set for an easy win when he comfortably took the first two sets but Baghdatis, sensing the dismay of the crowd on theSuzanne Lenglen court, blasted winners at will to win the third. Murray, who was stretched to five sets in his first round match and only finished his second-round match in the darkness of Thursday evening, stepped up a gear in the fourth and won it after two hours and 33 minutes with a drop shot. He will face the winner of the match between John Isner and Tomas Berdych for a place in the last eight.
Meanwhile, second seed Rafael Nadal was untroubled as he cruised past Horacio Zeballos, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 in his delayed second-round clash. Former world number one Hewitt, the 28th seed and twice a quarter-finalist, displayed his trademark gutsy talents to see off Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. Hewitt has played and lost three times against Nadal at the French Open, in 2006, 2007 and 2009.
Federer joins 700 club
World number one Roger Federer on Friday became only the 10th player in the Open era to record at least 700 tour-level wins when he beat German qualifier Julian Reister in the French Open third round. The Swiss, who has won 62 tour-level titles and 16 Grand Slams, trails ninth position holder Boris Becker by just 13 wins.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 29th, 2010.
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