Andy Murray reached the quarterfinals for the 20th time in his past 21 Grand Slam tournaments, handling the big serve of John Isner and beating the 15th-seeded American 7-6 (9), 6-4, 6-3 at the French Open.
Murray, a two-time major champion who is seeded second in Paris, made it to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros for the sixth time. He has lost in the semifinals the last two years.
After needing five sets to get through each of his first two matches, Murray has now won in straight sets twice in a row.
In the opening tiebreaker Sunday, Isner held three set points — at 6-5 on his serve, and at 7-6 and 9-8 on Murray’s — but failed to convert any of them.
One of the game’s top returners, Murray managed to break the 6-foot-10 Isner twice. And Murray saved all five break points he faced — two in the first set and three in the last.
The loss dropped Isner to 1-6 in fourth-round matches at Grand Slam matches.
He was the last U.S. man in the French Open this year; no man from the country has made it to the quarterfinals in Paris since Andre Agassi in 2003.
In another key men’s match, Stan Wawrinka topped Vikto Troicki 7-6 (5), 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-2.
By beating a seeded player at Roland Garros for the third time in a week, American Shelby Rogers reached the first major quarterfinal of her nascent career with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 25 Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania.
In the last 30 years, only five women ranked lower than the 108th-ranked Rogers have made it to the quarterfinals at the French Open.
“I keep reminding myself to play one point at a time and that this is just another tennis match. But that’s getting a little bit harder to do as the rounds get farther,” said the 23-year-old Rogers, who is from South Carolina.
“I have nothing to lose. I have no pressure. It’s just been a great experience here, and I want to keep enjoying it and keep pushing myself,” Rogers said. “I’m definitely outside of my comfort zone already, and I keep telling myself, ‘You belong here. You belong here.’?”
She pushed Begu around the court, producing a 9-3 edge in forehand winners while using the same deep, flat groundstrokes that dictated points against her previous opponents, including No. 10 Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, and No. 17 Karolina Pliskova.
“I was way behind the baseline,” Begu said, “and she was just controlling the game.”
When it ended, Rogers dropped her racket and covered her face with both hands.
Soon enough, she was crying, so much so that Rogers was handed a tissue by 2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, who conducted the on-court interview afterward.
Not that the emotional display was anything new for Rogers.
“One-hundred percent, tears all the time. Sad, happy, hungry, reading a book, watching a movie. They flow very easily,” she said through a wide smile at her news conference. “Those little puppy commercials: ‘Adopt a puppy.’ No, change the channel. Can’t do it.”
Only once before had Rogers even been as far as the third round at a major tournament, losing at that stage at last year’s U.S. Open as a qualifier.