ROLAND GARROS

Murray sweeps past Karlovic into French Open last 16

The Scottish second seed eased into the next round in Paris after defeating Ivo Karlovic 6-1, 6-4 and 7-6 in just under two hours.

Murray sweeps past Karlovic into French Open last 16
REUTERS

Andy Murray coasted into the last 16 at the French Open on Friday, downing giant Ivo Karlovic in straight sets in stark contrast to the five-setters he needed in the first two rounds.

Following wins over Radek Stepanek and Mathias Bourgue that took him a combined total of seven hours 15 minutes, the second seed saw off Karlovic 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) in one hour 56 minutes.

The victory lined him up for a tie against either John Isner of the United States or Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia with a place in the quarter-finals on the line.

"Especially at the end it was very close. I got off to a quick start and against someone like Ivo that's very important. I was glad to win that tie-break at the end," he said

Murray made the best possible start by breaking Karlovic's huge serve at the first two times of asking.

That gave him a 5-0 lead and two games later he had the first set in the bag at 6-1.

At 37, Karlovic was the oldest player to reach the third round in Paris since Jimmy Connors in 1991 and he topped the charts after two rounds winning 92 percent of his service games.

Murray hits a backhand during his third-round victory over Karlovic.

But he struggled again at the start of the second, Murray making it three breaks out four service games faced.

Comfortable on his own serve, Murray pulled away again and he was soon two sets up.

The third was a tighter affair, but with Karlovic unable to muster up a single break point, it was just a case of Murray grabbing a fourth break of serve when the chance came along or winning the tie-break.

The latter proved to be the option and Murray made no mistake with that, grabbing a mini-break at the start to take control.