Del Potro had four set points in the opening set but lost each one, including that key double fault while ahead by 7-6 in the tiebreaker. After Murray converted a third set point of his own when his opponent’s big forehand landed barely wide, del Potro rested his head on the net and stayed put for several seconds, the very picture of disappointment.
“Too much frustration,” del Potro said. “I couldn’t believe I lost that set.”
Murray is a three-time Grand Slam title winner and was the runner-up at Roland Garros a year ago. He has not had a great season so far, particularly on the clay-court circuit leading up to the French Open, but he reached the fourth round at Roland Garros for the eighth time in 10 appearances.
“I’m starting to feel better,” Murray said. “I was really looking forward to the French Open. I had struggled the last six or seven weeks coming in.”
Del Potro, the 2009 United States Open champion, was playing at his first French Open since 2012 because of a series of operations on his left wrist. Under constant pressure from an aggressive opponent, del Potro had some trouble from Murray’s drop shots…