French Open Day 3: Top seed Murray battles past Kuznetsov, Konta crashes out at first hurdle

World number one Andy Murray overcame a slow start to keep his hopes of winning a first French Open title alive, as the Scotsman battled past Andrey Kuznetsov on day three in Paris.

Russian Kuznetsov broke Murray’s serve twice in the second set to level the match at a set a piece, but three-time grand slam champion Murray began to find form in the third, racing through eight straight points to take a grip on the match.

Andy Murray lost in the final of the French Open last year
image: indiatoday.intoday.in

There was to be no way back for the world number 73 from there, as Murray hit a magnificent drop shot on his way to sealing a hard-fought 6-4 4-6 6-2 6-0 victory after two hours and 32 minutes.

Kyle Edmund joins his fellow Briton in the second round, as the 22-year-old had no major problems in securing a comfortable 6-3 6-2 7-5 straight sets victory over Portugal’s Gastao Elias.

Third seed Stan Wawrinka got his quest for a second French Open title up and running, as the Swiss man also overcame a cagey start to defeat Slovak qualifier Jozef Kovalik.

The 2015 French Open champion was far from his best in securing his place in the second round, as he struggled with his trademark backhand drives and racked up a total of 33 unforced errors throughout his opening match.

Wawrinka managed to dig himself out of a hole in the second set tiebreak by taking the last five points after trailing 6-3 and he breathed a sigh of relief when he clinched  a 6-2 7-6 (8/6) 6-3 win to keep hopes of a fourth grand slam title alive.

Ninth seed Alexander Zverev crashed out of the French Open at the first hurdle, after Spain’s Ferndando Vesdaco edged out the promising German in four sets.

Verdasco broke the 20-year-old twice in the third set when play resumed on Tuesday after play was suspended at a set a piece on Monday night, as the German then collapsed in the fourth set to allow Verdasco secure a 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-2 victory to advance.

Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro won his first match at the French Open since 2012 following problems with injuries in recent years, as he beat fellow Argentine Guido Pella 6-2 6-1 6-4 to cruise into the second round.

Japan’s Kei Nishikori had to battle from falling a set behind to keep his title hopes alive, with the eighth seed having to dig deep to clinch a 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-4 win over Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis.

John Isner was also made to work hard for his place in the second round, as the American held off a fight back from Australian Jordan Thompson to progress after a hard-fought 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 win.

Thomas Berdych also need four sets to see of the threat of Jan-Lennard Struff in his opening match in Paris, as the 13th seed held off a comeback by the German to go through with a 6-1 6-1 4-6 6-4 win.

Controversial Aussie Nick Kyrgios also had to see a tough test against Philipp Kohlschreiber to secure his passage through, after a 6-3 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 victory over the German.

Frenchman Gaels Monfils gave his home crowd something to cheer about, as the 15th seed secured his place in the second round with a 6-4 7-6 6-0 straight sets win over Germany’s Dustin Brown.

There was also good news for fellow Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, as he joins Monfils in the next round after overcoming a tough third set te-break to bag a 6-2 6-4 7-6 (7/3) straight sets victory over Radu Albot of Moldova.

South African Kevin Anderson needed two tie breaks to get past the tough test of Malek Jaziri in his opening match in Paris, as the 31-year-old emerged a 7-6 (6/4) 6-3 7-6 (7/4) winner against the Tunisian.

There was a big shock on the women’s side of things, as British number one Johanna Konta suffered a first round exit at the hands of world number 109 Hsieh Su-wei.

Seventh seed Konta strolled through the first set, before her Taiwanese opponent produced a stunning comeback to win 1-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 to send Konta crashing out in the first round at Roland Garros for the third year running.

There was to be no upset for third seed Simona Halep as she showed why she is a possible contender to win a first grand slam title at this year’s French Open, after cruising past Jana Cepelova in her opening match.

The Romanian put aside any fitness doubts after tearing an ankle ligament less than two weeks ago, as she wasted little time in securing a 6-2 6-3 straight sets win over her Slovak opponent.

Simona Halep lost in the French Open final in 2014
image: gsp.ro

Eugenie Bouchard also put her injury woes behind her but the Canadian was made to work for her place in the second round, as the 23-year-old came from a set behind to secure a 2-6 6-3 6-2 win against Japan’s Risa Ozaki.

It was also a comfortable day at the office for fifth seed Elina Stvitolina, as the Ukrainian made light work of her Kazakh opponent Yaroslava Shvedova to keep her hopes of a first grand slam title alive with a comfortable 6-4 6-3 win.

Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska was also a convincing winner on day three of the action, as the ninth seed crushed France’s Finona Ferro 6-1 6-1 to progress to the second round.

Madison Keys also enjoyed a solid opening win on her first outing in Paris, as the American cruised past Australian opponent Ashleigh Barty 6-3 6-2 to advance.

There were also no major problems for Carla Suarez Navarro in her first round victory over Greece’s Maria Sakkari, as the Spaniard breezed to a 6-4 6-2 win over the 21-year-old.

Finally, France’s own Alize Cornet also overcame a tough test against Timea Babos, as the 27-year-old held of a fight back from the Hungarian to clinch a hard-fought 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 6-2 victory.

Check out more results from day three of the 2017 French Open at this link.

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