Murray rates del Potro victory one of his best ever on clay

Andy Murray rated a straight-sets victory over Juan Martin del Potro as his best performance on clay this year but is not getting ahead of himself after reaching the fourth round of the French Open.

Murray has failed to match the high standards he set last year so far in 2017, but has improved with every match at Roland Garros this week.

The top seed came from a break down to win a gripping first set in which his old rival Del Potro unleashed a barrage of brutal forehands on Court Philippe Chatrier.

A distraught Del Potro was slumped on the net after losing the breaker, world number one Murray having saved four set points to take the wind out of the Argentinian’s sails.

Murray mixed up his game expertly, while Del Potro ran out of steam and the Brit felt it was his most impressive display of the season on the red surface.

“Definitely [the best he has played] during the clay-court season,” said the Wimbledon champion.

“I played some good matches at the beginning of the year. But definitely in the clay-court season, second or third sets were the best I have played, for sure.

“Obviously the first set was very important. I think it was like an hour 25 minutes. The conditions today were very slow and heavy, so coming from behind in those conditions can be difficult, because it feels like you have to work very hard for every point.

“Obviously his reaction at the end of the first set, he was pretty disappointed. He had some opportunities to close it out, and he served a double fault in the tie-break on one of the set points.

“But it was an important first set for a number of reasons, but the conditions today were very heavy and tough, not easy to come back from.”

Murray must wait to discover who he will face in the last 16 as John Isner and Karen Khachanov had only played a set when the rain arrived in Paris on Saturday and the Scot is not looking beyond the next round.

The 30-year-old added: “After each match, when you speak with your –  for me, anyway, when I speak with my team, the standards we set are pretty high, because you want to be playing well enough and doing the right things that are going to give you the best chance to win the tournament.

“But I’m not thinking about winning [the tournament] after each round. I didn’t come here with the mindset that I’m definitely going to go a long way here. I was going to try and just get through the first round and hopefully feel better each day.

“That’s been the case so far. There was things I did today, that if I can do them consistently well over the next week or so, then I could do really well. But I also know where I have come from, even just 10 days or so ago I was not playing well.

“So I need to respect that and work hard in practice and concentrate and if I do that, hopefully I can keep going further.”

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