World No. 3 Andy Murray was too good for rising Australian star Nick Kyrgios on Saturday, beating the 20-year-old Australian 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the Roland Garros fourth round.
Murray showed his experience and guile in the much-billed third-round contest, taking advantage of an ailing Kyrgios – struggling with a right forearm injury – to prevail in just under two hours.
After early breaks were exchanged in the first set, Murray made a decisive move in the seventh game to break for a 4-3 lead. That same game had seen one of the shots of the week when Kyrgios pulled out a ‘tweener lob to get the better of Murray.
But as the second set progressed, Kyrgios began to struggle with his arm injury, slowing down his serve before calling for the trainer after seven games. The Australian rallied after losing the second set, briefly going up a break in the third set. But Murray immediately broke back and claimed another break in the seventh game.
Kyrgios pulled out all the stops in the ninth game as he tried to stay in contention. He saved a first match point with a firecracker of a forehand before following it up with a serve and volley play. But Murray’s consistency paid off and the Scot converted his second opportunity.
“I have watched a lot of his matches, so obviously I know what his personality is like,” Murray said of Kyrgios. “He does have a game style and a personality on the court that lends itself to playing big matches on big courts. Sometimes you don't feel like you're able to control what's happening out there because he's hitting huge shots and sometimes playing shots that no one else tries. So you're not expecting it, either.”
“I think he's one of the best defenders of the game at the moment,” Kyrgios said of Murray. “I wasn't near one hundred per cent. Not to take anything from him; he played unbelievable. I don't think he served well, but he made a lot of returns and he just does what he does best, that's make a lot of balls and mix up the game. He was too good.”
The 28-year-old Murray came into Roland Garros in the form of his life on clay, having won back-to-back titles in Munich – his first ATP title on the dirt – and Madrid, where he beat Rafael Nadal in the final.
The Scot has not lost a match since wedding long-time girlfriend Kim Sears on 11 April in Dunblane, compiling a 13-0 mark. Murray withdrew from his Rome third-round contest against David Goffin, citing fatigue.
Murray matched his best Roland Garros showing last year, when he reached the semi-finals (l. to Nadal). The right-hander is a winner of two Grand Slam championships, triumphing at the 2012 US Open and making history at Wimbledon 2013.
Kyrgios came into his first Roland Garros third-round match having not played a singles match since Monday. The Canberra native was given a walkover into the third round when Kyle Edmund withdrew ahead of their match on Thursday.
Last month, Kyrgios reached his first ATP World Tour final on the clay in Estoril, finishing runner-up to Richard Gasquet. The right-hander played his second Grand Slam quarter-final at the start of the year in Melbourne, losing to Murray.
Murray goes on to face home hope Jeremy Chardy, who ousted No. 17 seed David Goffin 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
The 28-year-old Frenchman hit 39 winners and converted six of his 11 break point opportunities in one hour and 44 minutes.
It is the first Round of 16 showing for Chardy in Paris since 2008 (l. to Almagro) equalling his best Grand Slam result.
It will be the eighth meeting between Murray and Chardy. The Scot leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 6-1.
“It’s helping a lot, for sure,” Chardy said of playing in front of his home crowd. “I played all of my matches on Court No. 1, and the atmosphere was amazing. They pushed me and they helped me during the whole match, so for sure it will help me against Andy.
“I feel really well. Today I played one of my best matches. So if I continue to play like this, I really think I have a chance against Andy.”http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis ... rgios.aspx