Murray can reach French Open semis again after tough test
The first week of this year’s French Open saw 17-time Grand Slam champion and 2009 Roland Garros winner Roger Federer exit from the tournament before the quarter-finals for the first time in 10 years.
Swiss number two Federer lost in a thrilling five-set match to Latvian 18th seed Ernests Gulbis, who will now face Tomas Berdych in the last eight. The former is 6/5 to beat the Czech and reach the semi-finals for the first time in his Grand Slam career.
Britain’s only hope again Andy Murray survived an incredibly challenging battle with German Philipp Kohlschreiber. This match had to continue to the next day, with scores level at two sets each and seven all in the decider late on, before the Scot came through to win.
Murray (odds-on at 4/6 to reach the quarters) now faces a tough fourth round fight against the 24th seed Fernando Verdasco (6/5), who saw off home hope Richard Gasquet in straight sets. The Spaniard has managed to reach this stage (fourth round) on four previous occasions, but has yet to go further at the French Open.
If defending Wimbledon champion Murray can come through this duel, he will face one of last surviving Frenchman Gael Monfils – who knocked out his Davis Cup conqueror Fabio Fognini in the previous round – or Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Murray is priced at 2/1 to match his semi-final elimination effort in 2011, where he could Rafael Nadal, or 11/4 to exit in the quarters. He is now fourth-favourite at 14/1, meanwhile, to get his first French Open title.
The other fourth round matches saw tournament favourite Novak Djokovic (11/10) drop just six games against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, with Canada’s eight seed Milos Raonic (40/1) easily dispatching Marcel Granollers as well. David Ferrer (10/1) beat giant South African Kevin Anderson in four sets.
Title holder, second-favourite and record eight-time champion Nadal (6/4) faces Dusan Lajovic in the fourth round, and could face fellow Spaniard Ferrer in the quarters.
In the women’s section of the competition, seventh seed Mario Sharapova is now the favourite to win her second French Open trophy at 11/8, with the likes of the Williams sisters, Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska all out.
Russian Sharapova, who has collected all four Slams once each, goes up against unseeded Spaniard Garbine Muquruza in the quarters, and odds-on at 1/4 for victory.
The highest seed left in the draw is Simona Halep (four) of Romania. She goes up against Sloane Stephens in the fourth round, and is 2/9 to win, and 7/2 to be champion for the first time at a Slam.