Djokovic flattens Del Potro

Djokovic flattens Del Potro

Irrepressible Serb stretches his unbeaten run to 40; Nadal, Murray advance

An impromptu night's rest after Friday's match was suspended because of bad light at the end of the second set allowed Djokovic to swing the momentum back his way and take his 2011 winning streak to 40 matches with 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 triumph.

Murray thumped Germany's Michael Berrer 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 despite turning his ankle when trying to slide on the clay to reach a ball early in the second set.

The Briton had extensive strapping and was able to carry on despite continued winces and an immediate loss of serve.  Perspiration rather than inspiration had been the hallmarks of Murray's campaign so far but, apart from the injury and the navy-coloured shirt he shared with Nadal, the blues disappeared.

The lasting effects of the injury were not clear as the German underdog was so weak that Murray did not have to test the ankle hugely having started the match in much better form.

Murray next meets Serbia's 15th seed Viktor Troicki, a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 winner over Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov.  Champion Nadal stuttered through his first two matches but was all smiles in a 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 win over Croat qualifier Antonio Veic with his recent vulnerability only in evidence on first serve in the first set and when broken twice in the second.

Djokovic faced his toughest test since those finals when coming back out onto a packed and sunbaked court with 2009 US Open champion and 25th seed Del Potro threatening to upset all the pre-tournament predictions of more Djokovic success.

But any belief the Argentine has picked up by levelling late in Friday's gloom evaporated when Djokovic broke for 4-2 in the third set having earlier fought off two break points including with one tremendous slugging rally of 23 shots.

Del Potro then double-faulted to hand the world number two one of three breaks in the third game of the fourth as he nears John McEnroe's record of 42 wins since the start of a year. Djokovic now locks horns with home favourite Richard Gasquet, who won through on Friday.

China's lightning-quick Li Na earlier wrapped up an easy women's third-round victory over Romanian Sorana Cirstea with a 6-2, 6-2 win. Over on Court Philippe Chatrier fourth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus easily got the better of Italy's Roberta Vinci with a 6-3, 6-2 win which further highlighted her strong title credentials.

Third round results (prefix denotes seeding):
Men’s singles: 5-Robin Soderling (Swe) bt Leonardo Mayer (Arg) 6-1, 6-4, 6-3; Ivan Ljubicic (Cro) bt 16-Fernando Verdasco (Esp) 6-3, 7-6(6), 6-4; Alejandro Falla (Col) bt Lukasz Kubot (Pol) 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-5, 6-4; 18-Gilles Simon (Fra) bt 10-Mardy Fish (US) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2; 2-Novak Djokovic (Ser) bt 25-Juan Martin Del Potro (Arg) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2; Juan Ignacio Chela (Arg) bt Lukas Rosol (Czech) 6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5); 4-Andy Murray (Bri) bt Michael Berrer (Ger) 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.   
Women’s singles: 9-Petra Kvitova (Cze) bt Vania King (US) 6-4, 6-2; 4-Victoria Azarenka (Blr) bt 30-Roberta Vinci (Ita) 6-3, 6-2; 6-Li Na (Chn) bt Sorana Cirstea (Rom) 6-2, 6-2.