French Open Day 7: Halep holds off Kasatkina comeback, Murray proves too strong for Del Potro

Third seed Simona Halep battled past Daria Kasatkina on day seven at the French Open, as the Romanian survived a scare to remain on course for a first grand slam title.

It looked like it was going to be a comfortable day at the office for Halep, as she won six consecutive games to cruise into a one set lead after just thirty minutes, before taking a 3-1 lead in the second.

Simona Halep lost to Maria Sharapova in the 2014 French Open final
image: stirimondene.eu

However, the 20-year-old Russian then sparked into life winning the next four games in a row and held off three sets points in the tenth game, before Halep eventually edged through to clinch a 6-0 7-5 victory.

Carla Suarez Navarro stands in the Romanian’s way of a place in the quarter-finals after Russian Elena Vesnina proved no match for Spaniard, who marched into the foruth round with a 6-4 6-4 win against the 14th seed.

Former world number one Caroline Woznicaki held off a fight back from American teenager CiCi Bellis, when their match resumed on Saturday to remain on course for a first grand slam title.

Bellis came from a set down to take a 5-2 lead in the second set on Friday night before rain stopped play, and she resumed where she left off to force the game into a decider and took an early break in the third to lead 2-1.

However, back-to-back forehands into the net saw Wozniacki break back for 2-2 and she broke again when Bellis rolled a backhand long, before the Dane sealed a 6-2 2-6 6-3 victory in our hour and 51 minutes with two consecutive aces.

It was the end of the road for Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, as France’s own Alize Cornet stunned the ninth seed to reach the fourth round of the French Open.

The world number 43 won three games in a row on her way to cruising into a one-set lead in just 38 minutes, and things would get better for Cornet in the second as she cruised to a 6-2 6-1 win to advance to the last 16.

Caroline Garcia joins her compatriot in the fourth round, after the 28th seed had to dig deep to secure a hard-fought 6-4 4-6 9-7 victory over battle past Su-Wei Hsieh from Chinese Tapei.

In men’s action, world number one Andy Murray produced one of the best performances of his season, as the three-time grand slam champion overcame the test of Juan Martin Del Potro to keep hopes of a first French Open title alive.

Del Potro – who defeated Murray in last year’s Davis Cup semi-final – started off the strongest of the two men, as the Argentine’s thundering forehands helped him build a 5-3 lead in the opening set.

Murray had to save set point at 4-5, before breaking back to take the set to a tie-breaker and the world number one clinched it on his third set point, when Del Potro’s forehand landed just wide after an epic 84-minute opening set.

The Scotsman broke immediately at the start of the second and despite pulling back to 5-5, Del Potro began to struggle with a groin injury and Murray took advantage winning the final seven games in a row to bag a 7-6 (10/8) 7-5 6-0 victory.

Murray’s compatriot Kyle Edmund failed to match his best result at a grand slam tournament, after South Africa’s Kevin Anderson ended the hopes of the British number two.

Edmund did make the 31-year-old work hard for his place in the fourth round, as Anderson twice had to come from behind to seal a thrilling 6-7 (6/8) 7-6 (7/4) 5-7 6-1 6-4 win in almost four hours.

Stan Wawrinka continued his quest towards a second French Open title, as the third seed battled past Italian Fabio Fognini to clinch his spot in the fourth round with having yet to drop a set in Paris.

The Swiss man was in danger of falling a set behind early on as Fognini failed to serve for the set twice in the opening set, allowing Wawrinka to come back to force a tie-break after successive backhand errors from the Italian.

The mistakes began to rack up for Fognini as Wawrinka cruised to victory in the tie-break, before he breezed through the second set winning all six games to complete the bagel in just 23 minutes.

A knee injury was beginning to takes its toll on the 28th seed but he did manage to fend off a couple of match points at 2-5, before Wawrinka completed the job by firing down an unreturnable serve to complete a 7-6 (7/2) 6-0 6-2 straight sets win.

Stan Wawrinka beat Novak Djokovic in the final to win the 2015 French Open
image: sports.yahoo.com

Former US Open champion Marin Cilic kept his hopes of a second grand slam title alive, as the Croatian encountered no major problems against Spain’s Feliciano Lopez

Cilic whipped 31 winners past the 35-year-old as the seventh seed cruised to a 6-1 6-3 6-3 straight sets victory to progress to the last 16, having yet to drop a set at Roland Garros.

30-year-old Fernando Verdasco also comfortably booked his place in the fourth round, as the Spaniard brushed 22nd seed Pablo Cuevas aside in a 6-2 6-1 6-3 victory over the Uruguayan.

Rain disrupted the later games with Kei Nishikori set to resume his match on Sunday against Korean Chung Hyeon, who has come from two sets down to take a 3-0 lead in the fourth.

Russian Karen Khachanov won the opening set on a tie-break against John Isner, while the all-French clash between Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils is locked at a set a piece.

You can check out more results from day seven in Paris, inclduing all the latest doubles action, at this link.

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