Nalbandian exit leaves door open for Murray progress

Andy Murray knows the importance of taking one match at a time but a Scottish eyebrow or two must have been raised by a result from Court 2 here yesterday. According to the seedings Murray was en route to face David Nalbandian in the fourth round of the French Open, but the world No 7 became the highest-ranked player to go out of the tournament when he was beaten by France's Jeremy Chardy.

The winner of Murray's next match, against Nicolas Almagro, whom the British No 1 regards as one of the best clay-court players in the world, will now meet either Chardy, the world No 145, or Dmitry Tursunov, the No 33, who beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6, 6-0, 6-0. Murray, who had not won a match on these courts before this year, has never played Chardy but has beaten Tursunov in all four of their meetings, the most recent of which was on clay in Hamburg earlier this month.

Nalbandian won the first two sets against Chardy but lost 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 after suffering a leg injury. The Frenchman, who won the Wimbledon junior title three years ago, had never played five sets before and described the victory as the best of his career. When Nalbandian was asked about Chardy's performance he grudgingly said the 21-year-old had "played all right".

For the moment, nevertheless, Murray's focus will be on Almagro, a 22-year-old Spaniard who has been one of the game's most successful players on clay in 2008. The world No 20 has played seven clay-court tournaments this year, winning two of them and reaching a final, three quarter-finals and a third round in the others.

"I put him in there with the top players on clay," Murray said. "He's got a big serve, a big game. He doesn't move particularly well, but he plays very aggressively and dominates the majority of his points."

Murray, whose brother Jamie went out of the first round of the doubles, was understandably delighted with his emphatic 6-4, 6-0, 6-4 second-round victory over Jose Acasuso on Wednesday night but is hungry for more success. "I want to make the second week," he said. "That's my goal and beating a clay-courter like Almagro would be a great way to do it."

Further down the Avenue de la Porte d'Auteuil the survivor from this section of the draw should meet Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals. The world No 2 took his unbeaten run at Roland Garros to 23 matches when he crushed Nicolas Devilder, a qualifier, for the loss of only five games. Nadal, who is aiming to become the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1981 to win four successive titles here, now plays Jarkko Nieminen.

Roger Federer's attempt to complete his collection of Grand Slam crowns has been thwarted by Nadal for the past three years here and for a short while the world No 1's journey again looked like foundering on Spanish rocks. Albert Montanes took the first set before Federer recovered to win 6-7, 6-1, 6-0, 6-4, sealing victory with his 13th ace.

Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, who won her third French Open title 10 years ago, was the last Spanish woman to triumph here and cheered from the sidelines as her compatriot, Carla Suarez Navarro, the world No 132, condemned Amélie Mauresmo to an all too familiar early exit. Mauresmo, who has never gone beyond the quarter-finals here, was beaten 6-3, 6-4 by a 19-year-old opponent playing in her first Grand Slam tournament.

Jelena Jankovic, the world No 3, beat New Zealand's Marina Erakovic 6-2, 7-6 but needed medical attention after hurting her right wrist. "It was gradually getting worse," Jankovic said. "The balls were a little bit heavier because the weather is humid and the court is wet."

In the quarter-finals Jankovic is seeded to meet Venus Williams, who beat the rain by overwhelming Selima Sfar, a Tunisian qualifier, 6-2, 6-4. Not that the American would have been in a hurry to go off and do some sightseeing. Asked whether she might visit the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre if she had time, she replied: "Rue St-Honoré. Shopping. I don't have culture."

News
Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
people
News
Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
News
Actor Burt Reynolds last year
people
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game