The Wimbledon champion from Britain beat Germany’s Kohlschreiber, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 12-10 on the Court Suzanne Lenglen at Roland Garros in Paris.
Their match had been suspended last night at 9:39 p.m. local time in Paris at 7-7 in the final set because of darkness. The seventh-seeded Murray had been up a break in each of the five sets against the 30-year-old.
“Both of us came out here pretty nervous,” Murray said in a court-side interview. “But I think it was a pretty high standard. I didn’t sleep much, and woke up a few times. I was ready to play at 4 or 5 in the morning.” He added he’d only had about five hours’ sleep in total.
Murray set up a match point with a forehand passing shot off a net cord as he led 9-8, only for Kohlschreiber to save it with a smash. Murray then saved a break point at 9-9 with a service winner as the crowd loudly cheered “Philipp, Philipp.” With Kohlschreiber serving to stay in the match at 11-10 down, Murray converted his second match point with a backhand return winner.
Murray, 27, hasn’t won a tournament since he became the first man from the British Isles to clinch the Wimbledon singles title in 77 years. He missed four months of the season after undergoing back surgery in September. The Scotland-born player is currently without a coach after his cooperation with eight-time major champion Ivan Lendl ended in March.
Earlier today, former Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic knocked No. 10 seed John Isner out of the tournament, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to move to the quarterfinals.
That means there are no more U.S. players left in the men’s singles draw at Roland Garros. Isner had been the first American male to make it to the round of 16 in Paris since Robby Ginepri in 2010.
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.
Murray’s next opponent will be Fernando Verdasco of Spain, who defeated France’s No. 12 seed Richard Gasquet, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 on the main Court Philippe Chatrier. Their match had also been held over from last night at 2-2 in the third set.
Canada’s No. 18 seed Eugenie Bouchard continued her run at Roland Garros, beating German’s No. 8 seed Angelique Kerber, 6-1, 6-2 to move to her first French Open quarterfinal. Bouchard made the semi-finals at the Australian Open at the start of the season.
“I’m confident, and I really believe in my skills,” the 20-year-old Bouchard said in a news conference. “I believe I can play with the best girls out there.”
For the first time in the Open era, the top three women’s seeds were all beaten before the fourth round at a Grand Slam event.
Former top-ranked Roger Federer of Switzerland plays Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis while Novak Djokovic of Serbia continues his quest for a first Roland Garros title against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Maria Sharapova of Russia, the winner two years ago, plays former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur of Australia.
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