Some fans wondered if Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro were about to stage a five-set thriller when a tie-break was needed to settle the first set of their French Open third round clash.
But Murray didn’t even need four sets to defeat his Argentinian opponent, winning 7-6 (10-8) 7-5 6-0 to record a terrific straight-set win.
The world number one will now face the winner of John Isner’s match against Russia's Karen Khachanov in the fourth round.
The match appeared out of Del Potro’s reach after he lost the first set in a tense tie break. The 28-year-old, clearly distraught, slumped on the net post during the changeover before smacking his racquet in anger.
Murray then broke Del Potro at the start of the second set.
Murray: 'It was a tough match'
The Scot won the final seven games, taking just 28 minutes to win the third set, to seal the victory and a place in the second week of the French Open.
"Whoever won that first set had big momentum," Murray said afterwards, per BBC Sport.
"It's slow and heavy and coming back in these conditions is difficult.
"I thought I played some good tennis towards the end and I expected a tough match.
"It was tough. I think he was playing much better than me in the first set. Both of us had some chances in the first set, the second set was the same. Both those sets could have gone either way."
Murray was just a class above
Del Potro was making his first appearance at Roland Garros since 2012 following a spate of injuries. He lost to Murray in the gold-medal match at last year’s Olympic Games in Rio and was no match for the Scot’s class on Saturday.
One shot highlighted Murray’s superiority.
It came in the first set, with Del Potro serving for the set at 5-4 up. The world number 30 forced the Brit beyond the baseline with some rasping forehands but couldn’t find a winner.
Then, on the back foot, Murray produced an inch-perfect lob that flew over Del Potro and landed just inside the opposite baseline.
Watch Murray’s brilliant shot below.
It’s worth pointing out that Del Potro is 6 ft 6 in and was standing mid-court when Murray played the shot, not right at the end.
That’s why he’s a three-time Grand Slam winner.
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