Del Petro hails `smart` Murray, says he is `real No. 1`

| Updated: Jun 04, 2017 19:49 IST

Johannesburg [South Africa], June 4 (ANI): Juan Martin del Potro, who crashed out of the French Open after suffering a straight-sets loss against Andy Murray, has hailed the Scot, saying the world number one played like a "real No. 1". Murray, won a gripping 84-minute opening set on his way to a 7-6 (10-8) 7-5 6-0 victory to reach the fourth round. "I had great opportunities in the first two sets. Those sets were very decisive. I felt I was playing well. I could feel I was hurting him," Sport24 quoted Del Potro as saying. "But it still was extremely complicated, because he was starting to return the balls better. My service was not hurting him as much anymore later into the game. He is a real No. 1," the 28-year-old added. The world number one was relentless in his defence, forcing Del Potro to play off his backhand which has lost much of its formidable zip following three wrist surgeries. Del Potro further acknowledged the fact that Murray played smartly and, in fact, termed him as "one of the smartest guys on the circuit". "He played very smartly. I knew that if I stayed behind the baseline, he can only do so much. So that's why he kept forcing me to move," recognised the 29th seed. "Then he forced me to play backhand first, and then he sliced me. Sometimes the balls would then go crosscourt diagonally, and only a very, very few smart players can do that," he added. The Scot, bidding for his first Roland Garros title, goes on to face American John Isner or Russia's Karen Khachanov. (ANI)
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