PARIS – Rain on Saturday forced the remainder of Kei Nishikori’s third-round match against South Korean Hyeon Chung at the French Open to be pushed to Sunday, with the match seemingly headed to a deciding set.
Nishikori, the eighth seed, was leading 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 0-3 when rain stopped play.
Nishikori saved set point in the first set, then held his serve with some solid shots before breaking Chung to take a 1-0 lead.
Nishikori broke Chung in the ninth game of the second to win the set but Chung fought back and took the third set in a tiebreaker.
Chung broke twice at the start of the fourth set, prompting a clearly frustrated Nishikori to smash his racket to the red clay court in disgust and break it.
Nishikori, who received a warning for his conduct from the umpire, then had treatment on his back before rain halted play.
Andy Murray benefited from a double-fault by Juan Martin del Potro in the opening tiebreaker and then looked more and more like the No. 1 player that he is during a 7-6 (10-8), 7-5, 6-0 victory.
The third-round match between a pair of past major champions was much tighter than the straight-set scoreline might indicate.
“Yeah, I expected a very tough match. And the first set was very, very important, I think, for the rest of the match. Whoever had won that first set had big momentum,” Murray said. “In these conditions, when it’s slow and heavy, to be coming back is difficult.”
Former U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic beat Feliciano Lopez 6-1, 6-3, 6-3, and next meets big-serving Kevin Anderson, who edged Kyle Edmund 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 6-1, 6-4. Fernando Verdasco easily got past No. 22 Pablo Cuevas 6-2, 6-1, 6-3.
Victories by Alize Cornet and Caroline Garcia gave France three women in the fourth round of this tournament for the first time since 1994. Kristina Mladenovic advanced to that round by winning Friday.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5