World No1 Sir Andy Murray believes his form is on an upward trajectory after recording a four-set triumph over Slovenia’s Martin Klizan to reach the French Open third round.
Murray needed three hours and 34 minutes to dispatch world No50 Klizan 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) and record the 18th victory of a season interrupted by injury and illness.
The 30-year-old’s form has also been a concern, arriving at Roland Garros having lost three of his last four matches on clay, although he feels sufficiently reinvigorated to cut a confident figure ahead of a clash with Juan Martin del Potro in round three.
When asked whether he could beat Del Potro, who has won two of the last three meetings between the pair, Murray said: “Absolutely. In my opinion he is one of the best players in the world when fit and healthy.
“But I am capable of winning that match. I’m playing way better than two weeks ago. I hit a lot of balls today and it seems like people don’t think I played particularly well but I did well against a tough opponent.”
World No30 Del Potro, who is competing at the French Open for the first time since 2012 following a succession of injuries, progressed to round three after his opponent, Spain’s Nicolas Almagro, quit with a knee injury.
With the match tied at one set each and the score at 1-1 in the third, Almagro was forced to concede and left the court in tears, consoled by Del Potro.
“I told him that tennis is important, but health matters more than tennis in this case,” said Del Potro. “He was in agony. It was tough.”
Third seed Stan Wawrinka, meanwhile, joined Murray and Del Potro in the third round after navigating his showdown with Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5.