Murray’s Match With Kohlschreiber Halted at French as Nadal Wins

Photographer: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images

Spain's Rafael Nadal serves to Argentina's Leonardo Mayer during their French tennis Open third round match at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris on May 31, 2014. Close

Spain's Rafael Nadal serves to Argentina's Leonardo Mayer during their French tennis... Read More

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Photographer: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images

Spain's Rafael Nadal serves to Argentina's Leonardo Mayer during their French tennis Open third round match at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris on May 31, 2014.

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray of Britain and Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber will return today to Roland Garros to decide their third-round tennis match after their meeting was halted yesterday in the final set.

The pair were tied 7-all in the fifth set when darkness forced them off the court. Fernando Verdasco must also continue today after his match with Frenchman Richard Gasquet was stopped with the Spaniard leading 2-sets-to-love. That match is tied 2-all in the third.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal yesterday moved to the second week of tennis’s French Open without dropping a set as upsets continued in the women’s tournament with losses for former Grand Slam title holders Ana Ivanovic and Petra Kvitova.

Germany’s Kohlschreiber took the first and fourth sets, while Britain’s Murray won the second and third sets before the final set was halted at 9:39 p.m. local time. Kohlschreiber, 30, beat the 27-year-old Murray the only other time they played on clay, in 2010 in Monte Carlo.

Today, second seed Novak Djokovic takes on Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while Switzerland’s Roger Federer meets 18th seed Ernests Gulbis. Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic plays American John Isner. In the women’s event, Russia’s Maria Sharapova faces Samantha Stosur of Australia, while Germany’s Angelique Kerber will play Eugenie Bouchard of Canada.

Photographer: Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images

Czech Republic's Lucie Safarova celebrates after winning her French tennis Open third round match against Serbia's Ana Ivanovic at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris on May 31, 2014. Close

Czech Republic's Lucie Safarova celebrates after winning her French tennis Open third... Read More

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Photographer: Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images

Czech Republic's Lucie Safarova celebrates after winning her French tennis Open third round match against Serbia's Ana Ivanovic at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris on May 31, 2014.

Yesterday, top-seeded Nadal of Spain beat Leonardo Mayer of Argentina, 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 in a sunny main Court Philippe Chatrier in Paris. Nadal, the top performer at Roland Garros with eight singles titles and only one defeat, played with tape on his back.

Nadal’s Back

“My back was hurting a little,” he told reporters. “So that’s why I served more slowly since I started feeling the pain.”

The lefthander, who struggled with a back injury during his Australian Open final defeat to Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland, plays 83rd-ranked Serbian Dusan Lajovic next.

In the women’s tournament, the 11th-seeded Ivanovic, a former top-ranked player, was beaten 6-3, 6-3 by Czech Lucie Safarova.

Ivanovic, the only player to have defeated top-ranked Serena Williams and former winnerSharapova this season, won Roland Garros in 2008. U.K. bookmaker William Hill Plc (WMH) gave her 8-1 odds to win the event this year after the top three seeds in the women’s tournament all lost early.

“Overall my level wasn’t there,” Ivanovic said in a news conference after losing to Safarova for the fifth time in a row. “I really struggled to find my rhythm. And she was playing very aggressive.”

‘Goat’s Head’

The match of the day belonged to France’s Gael Monfils and Italy’s Fabio Fognini. Monfils, a semifinalist in 2008, ended up winning, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 0-6, 6-2. During their clash, the 14th-seeded Fognini frequently threw his racket on the clay, called himself a “goat’s head” in Italian and argued with a spectator while Monfils struggled with cramp. Fognini made 81 unforced errors, 25 more than Monfils.

“Merci, merci,” Monfils told the crowd on the Court Suzanne Lenglen, which had been so loud they could be heard in the main stadium several hundred meters away. “You carried me.”

After downing Ivanovic, Safarova faces another French Open winner next: Svetlana Kuznetsova. The 2009 champion from Russia overcame former Wimbledon champion Kvitova, 6-7 (3-7), 6-1, 9-7 in a match that lasted more than three hours. Kuznetsova had lost her three previous matches to Kvitova before today.

“I knew I was going out there, and I was going to give everything I could and run every mile, every meter I could, and put as many balls back, be aggressive, try to be aggressive,” Kuznetsova said in a news conference. “Because if you watch the match, Petra was inside the court and I was next to the fans.”

Moving On

Sloane Stephens, David Ferrer and Simona Halep all moved the second week of the French Open without dropping a set.

Stephens fired 16 winners in her 6-3, 6-4 win against Ekaterina Makarova of Russia to make the fourth round in Paris for the third consecutive year.

“I was happy to be able to play early and get the W,” No. 15 seed Stephens said in a court-side interview. “As the tournament goes on, the competition gets tougher.”

The 21-year-old had her breakthrough year in 2013, when she defeated top-ranked Serena Williams to reach the Australian Open semifinals. At Roland Garros, Stephens is the highest-ranked American woman left in the draw after defending champion Williams lost to Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the second round.

Stephens will next face No. 4 Halep, the highest seed into the second week in the women’s draw. Halep eased by Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor, 6-3, 6-0. The Romanian won six tournaments last year, the most on the women’s WTA tour after Williams, who took eleven titles.

U.S. Men

Spain’s fifth-seeded David Ferrer was tested in the second set against Italy’s Andreas Seppi, but won 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 as he dominated from the back of the court.

Ferrer, a runner-up to Nadal last year who beat him in Monte Carlo this season, plays South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in the fourth round. Anderson won after his opponent, Ivo Karlovic of Croatia, retired after losing the first set 6-3.

Jack Sock, one of three U.S. men into the third round, lost to Lajovic, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3. Lajovic is only playing in his second major. Donald Young, a former top-ranked junior from the U.S., lost to Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in five sets.

American Man

That leaves No. 10 seed Isner as the only American through to the fourth round in the men’s singles draw.

The French Open is the least successful major for American men. Andre Agassi is the last male player to clinch the singles title, in 1999, while no American men have won a major since Andy Roddick’s 2003 triumph at the U.S. Open.

Jelena Jankovic, a former top-ranked player from Serbia, set up a meeting against former finalist Sara Errani after beating Romania’s Sorana Cirstea, 6-1, 6-2. Italy’s Errani, a runner-up to Sharapova two years ago, dropped only one game against Israel’s Julia Glushko.

Qualifier Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands made her first Grand Slam fourth round with a 6-2, 6-1 win against Spain’s Silvia Soler-Espinosa. She’ll next play Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, who overcame France’s Kristina Mladenovic in three sets.

To contact the reporter on this story: Danielle Rossingh in Paris at drossingh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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