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Tipsarevic retirement hands Murray victory

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:33

When Andy Murray began his French Open campaign just under a week ago his mission was to survive until at least the second week of the clay court Grand Slam uncharted territory for the Scot.

After Fridays third round opponent, Janko Tipsarevic, retired with what appeared to be a hip problem after losing the first two sets, Murray has all but achieved his objective since his next match will be scheduled for Sunday, seven days after he began his Roland Garros campaign.

‘I’d love to go further. I’m playing well’ – Murray

For the second successive match Murray demonstrated great heart when the chips were down, rallying from 2-5 in the first set and somehow surviving with Tipsarevic serving for the set on three separate occasions.

Having saved two sets points, Murray forced a tie-break, quickly wrapped that up 7-3 and was always in control thereafter as his opponent became less and less mobile as the contest wore on.

With the scores at 7-6, 6-3 in Murrays favour, world No.65 Tipsarevic called it a day and the British No.1 and third seed in Paris was into the last 16 at the French major for the first time in his career.

“I didn’t see much wrong with him in the first set,” Murray said. “He maybe slowed down his serve a little bit.

“It’s one of those things that can be tough sometimes when you don’t know how bad someone’s problem is or if they’re going to come out firing.”

“It’s been a good start, the first week. It hasn’t been physically too demanding and now I feel good going into next week.

“I’d love to go further. I’m playing well enough to. I just have to keep the consistency and I can win more matches.”

With his clay court knowledge growing with every match and a very winnable fourth round appointment against Croat Marin Cilic on Sunday, who knows how far he can now go.

However, when Cilic was asked about his chances after his third round victory over Radek Stepanek on Friday he appeared quietly confident.

I haven’t played him so far on clay except in juniors, Cilic said. We played one match last year in Madrid which was pretty close. He won 7-6, 7-5. I think he’s not playing so bad on clay.

I think he improved more than last year and he had some good wins in Monte Carlo and some other tournaments as well.

But obviously it’s not his best surface, so I think I have also some chance to play good tennis, and, of course, to get in a good position to maybe win that match.

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