- French Open, Day Six
Berdych survives marathon to set up Del Potro clash
Tomas Berdych was given a real test of his staying power as he outlasted Kevin Anderson to reach the fourth round of the French Open.
The No. 7 seed fended off the big-serving South African to claim a hard-fought 6-4 3-6 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4 victory after nearly four hours on court to set up a clash with Juan Martin Del Potro.
In a match where breaks were few and far between, Berdych only dropped his serve twice yet found himself facing a premature exit after losing the third set.
Anderson will be left to rue a handful of inopportune errors, having served almost faultlessly for much of the match - with 22 aces and a 80% of points won on first serve.
After eight games in which neither players showed any sign of weakness on serve, Berdych took the early advantage, breaking his opponent to love before serving out the set.
But Anderson, seeded No. 31 in Paris, roared back to win the next two sets. A thumping forehand winner saw him grab a 4-2 lead in the second set, only to surrender his serve in the very next game. But a double fault from Berdych handed Anderson the advantage and this time he made no mistake as he served out to level proceedings.
The third set went to a tiebreak as both players' serves proved impenetrable, Anderson triumphing to move within one set of the fourth round.
But Berdych, who has been in impressive form on the clay this season, dug deep to level, before an unfortunate double fault from Anderson gifted him a break in the seventh game of the final set - and the Czech stood firm to seal his place in the last 16.
Next up for Berdych is a mouthwatering fourth-round clash with Juan Martin Del Potro, who saw off Marin Cilic in straight sets. In an intriguing duel between two players born just five days apart, both standing at 6'6", it was the Argentine who triumphed 6-3 7-6(7) 6-1.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga delighted the Parisian crowds as the Frenchman booked his place in the fourth round with a straight sets win over Fabio Fognini. The No. 5 seed blew hot and cold during the match, but was ultimately too strong for the Italian, claiming a 7-5 6-4 6-4 victory.
The home fans were denied an all-French encounter when Stanislas Wawrinka hung on to claim a 7-5 6-7(5) 6-7(3) 6-3 6-2 victory to deny Gilles Simon in four hours and 37 minutes.