Day 7, RG 2017 – Murray and Halep step up , Big Kev takes out Edmund!

That was unquestionably Murray’s best performance of the season for me. I never enjoy seeing Delboy get beat but he was in every sense of the word by the end. He threw the absolute kitchen sink at the first set, his reaction at losing the tie-break showed how much it had taken out of him. He lay, folded over the net for a good few minutes just pondering! He also fought back in the second from a breakdown but Murray landed the final blow immediately and the third was more of a formality. For Muzza, this was a lot more solid, a lot more. He showed why he’s world number one today, he knew the danger and snuffed it out. Murray will be feeling a whole letter better about his game after this. He will face either Isner or Khachanov next after they were held overnight as play was disrupted for the day due to rain. Khachanov has won the first set on a tie-breaker of all things!! Fernando Verdasco hammered Pablo Cuevas in straights, which has obviously surprised me. I thought Pablo would have too much consistency today but by his own admission, he was poor. Nando plays the winner of Nishikori and Chung. Nishikori leads two sets to one but trails by a double break in the fourth. There was apparently a lot of discomfort with the wrist for Nish. Had that of continued tonight he would almost certainly have been a goner! Nishikori was two sets up initially, this really would be a big win for Chung if he can come out and finish the job off! Stan Wawrinka has beaten Fognini in 3 sets too. The Italian came out firing but after missing set points in the opener his head dropped. Another important win for Stan, this could have easily got nasty, he is still yet to drop a set. He now faces Gasquet/Monfils, Gasquet just about keeping in this one at the moment. Monfils has had set points and when they return, Gasquet will be serving to stay in the first set at *5/6. Marin Cilic made light work of Feliciano Lopez this time. It has been a pretty impressive run from the Croat so far with all reports saying he is bossing from the baseline. He faces Kevin Anderson next after he came from 2 sets to 1 down against Kyle Edmund. Anderson eventually had too much for Edmund and after the fourth set slipped by so quickly, you had to fancy the South African from there on in. It has been a good week for Edmund, though he will be disappointed not to have progressed. The Brit also says he is happy with the “maturity” he has been showing. Big Kev is a top professional in my opinion and vastly more experienced at this level, so it’s by no means doom and gloom!

Simona Halep says she is getting better with every match after beating Daria Kasatkina. I think she is doing all she can to take the pressure of this fortnight though. She knows this is a great chance and she wants to go about her work quietly, that would be fair enough. This was always going to be a test today against the young Russian and the first major examination has been passed. She plays Carla Suarez Navarro next who edged out Elena Vesnina. CSN has simply got the job done each time so far and was talking up her chances against the Romanian. We are guaranteed a French Female quarter-finalist this year. Caroline Garcia beat Su-Wei Hsieh 9/7 in the decider and probably got away with one. Hsieh has caused all sorts of problems here this week, clay is usually her weakest surface, her flat style and variety being the key to her previous scalps. Garcia will play Alize Cornet who routed Aggy Radwanska. A-Rad just can’t have the clay and says she is looking forward to the transition to grass. Cornet has been in good nick with wins also over Babos and Barbora Strycova in the opening two rounds. I’m guessing there will be a fair share of nerves out there for this fourth round match! Caroline Wozniacki finished of CiCi Bellis but had to come back from 3/1 down in the decider on the resumption of play. She faces Kuzzy first up on the Chatrier tomorrow. The other 4 remaining fourth round matches are yet to get started, so we have a busy day ahead tomorrow. There is a fair chance of rain at some stage but hopefully, we should be back on track by the conclusion of play!

Andy Del Potro

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