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Murray Beats Matosevic For Third Round Spot; Gasquet Advances

Paris, France

Murray© Getty ImagesAndy Murray will face Philipp Kohlschreiber in the third round.

World No. 8 Andy Murray powered into the third round at Roland Garros with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Australia’s Marinko Matosevic on Thursday in Paris.

Murray was broken just once, as he served for the match at 5-2 in the third set, but immediately broke Matosevic for the seventh and final time. He claimed victory in just under two hours as he rifled a backhand return winner. The Dunblane native hit 31 winners overall and benefitted from 39 unforced errors from Matosevic.

"It was a good serving performance today, especially when I was down in games," said Murray. "In the game I got broken right at the end, it was not down to my serving, really. I just missed a few other shots. I was just trying to make sure that my intensity was there every moment, especially at the beginning of the sets. I managed to get ahead early in all of them, and that helped."

Victory ensured Murray stayed perfect at tour-level against Australian opposition, with a 7-0 record. 

The Scot is through to the third round at the clay-court Grand Slam championship for the sixth time in seven appearances. His best run came in 2011, when he reached the semi-finals (l. to Nadal). He was forced to miss Roland Garros last year due to a back injury, but was a quarter-finalist in 2012 (l. to Ferrer).

Murray came into Roland Garros with the confidence of contesting a gripping quarter-final clash with Rafael Nadal two weeks ago in Rome, one of his best performances since returning from back surgery at the start of the season. The right-hander is bidding to win his third major title, adding to victories at the 2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon. Murray has never won a clay-court crown.

The 27-year-old Murray goes on to face German No. 28 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, who defeated Denis Istomin 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-2. Murray lost his one previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting with Kohlschreiber, four years ago on clay at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.

"It will be a very tough match for me," said Murray. "I played him once before on clay and I think I got three games. It will be very tough. He obviously won the tournament [in Dusseldorf] last week. He's not dropped a set here, I don't think. He's a very good player."

Watch Gasquet vs. Berlocq Highlights (Courtesy: French Tennis Federation)

GasquetWorld No. 13 Richard Gasquet gave the French crowd reason to cheer as he overcame Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4. Gasquet converted four of his 10 break points and won 32 of his 48 net approaches to prevail in two hours and 42 minutes. 

The 27-year-old Gasquet is looking to get past the fourth round at Roland Garros for the first time in 11 appearances. The right-hander’s best Grand Slam showing is semi-finals at the 2013 US Open and 2007 Wimbledon. 

Gasquet came into Roland Garros with no clay-court matches under his belt in 2014, having been sidelined with a back injury since reaching the fourth round in Miami in March. 

"On clay, I'm not so well trained," said Gasquet. "I don't have much practice behind me. It's very difficult. You have to use your mental strength. But right from the first set, it was difficult already, but I stayed in the match.  I played in a very serious way. I tried not to get unnerved. It could not have gone better than winning in three sets today."

He goes on to challenge No. 24 seed Fernando Verdasco, who fought back from two sets down for the fifth time in his career to beat Pablo Cuevas 4-6, 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-4, 6-3. Victory in just under four hours for Verdasco ended his five-match losing streak in five-set contests. Verdasco leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Gasquet 7-6.

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