Ivo Karlovic.jpg
Photograph: EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT

Andy Murray put in a "half-day" on court Friday, taming the legendary serve of Ivo Karlovic 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) to post a straightforward win after a pair of five-setters earlier in the week at the French Open.

The second seed got on and off the Lenglen showcase court in less than two hours after his pair of marathon wins lasting more than three and a half hours each.

Karlovic, who fired 41 aces in the previous round, was limited to a modest 14 as Murray got a grip on the biggest serve in tennis, beating Karlovic for the seventh time without a loss.

"I got off to a quick start and Ivo, he fought to the end," Murray said of a 37-year-old opponent who holds the ATP career record of more than 10,000 aces. "He made it tough.

"I was glad to finally win in three sets. I was able to handle his serve, my return is the strongest part of my game.

"But when he's serving well, there's not much you can do. I had to just stay patient and take care of my service games."

Murray improved to 31-8 at Roland Garros, where he has reached three semi-finals. He handed Karlovic his heaviest defeat at a grand slam in four years.

Eighth seed Milos Raonic needed almost three hours to hold off Slovak Andrej Martin 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-3, with the Canadian given painkillers for a problem with a hip.

The opening set took 72 minutes and required seven set points from Raonic, whose big serve was limited to just seven aces while breaking on seven of 19 chances.

On the women's side, Garbine Muguruza absorbed psychic energy from a day of warm weather to reach the fourth round 6-3, 6-0 over Yanina Wickmayer.

The Spanish fourth seed and the rest of the field got lucky as rain which had been forecast on the day held off.

Sixth seed Simona Halep, the 2014 finalist, also advanced, earning a third-round victory against rising Japanese teenager Naomi Osaka 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

The 18-year-old who was born in Tokyo but grew up in New York, speaks barely any Japanese, but showed that her tennis needs no translation as she put the Romanian through the wringer in the first set of a contest lasting one and three-quarter hours.

Halep, winner of the Madrid clay title three weeks ago, finally prevailed with seven breaks of serve and 23 winners.

Muguruza said that after the cold weather which marked the opening days of the clay-court major, conditions for her match were ideal.

"It was a perfect day, the first match I played, it was so cold," said last year's Wimbledon finalist. "Today everything was easy - you go to warm up. Perfect sun. Then you go to the court, it's beautiful.

"It brings energy also to see that it's a nice day. If it's dark, you're like this (shrugging)."

Two seeds were knocked out as double Wimbledon winner and tenth seed Petra Kvitova lost in an upset to 108th-ranked American Shelby Rogers 6-0, 6-7 (3-7), 6-0.

Kvitova committed 36 unforced errors along with six double-faults in the subpar performance at an event where she has never excelled.

Australian Samantha Stosur won a battle of Roland Garros runners-up, as the 2010 finalist beat 2015 counterpart and number 11 Lucie Safarova 6-3, 6-7 (0-7), 7-5. Romanian Irina Begu defeated Germany's Annika Beck 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 .

"We played some good tennis today," Safarova said, "I was fighting, did very well in the second set, but lost a little bit beginning of the third. She served really well."

Related stories

Croatian Coric ambushes depleted Nadal in Cincinnati

Sock slams Cilic in US Open upset

Kvitova finally wins again in Stuttgart, with new coach

Latest news

Trump-style rhetoric is making world more dangerous, Amnesty says

Divisive and "poisonous" language used by politicians such as US President Donald Trump is putting vulnerable populations at risk and making the whole world a more dangerous place, Amnesty International charged on Wednesday.

Canada soon to begin resettling Iraqi refugees, most of them Yezidis

Canada will resettle 1,200 survivors of the Islamic State campaign to target religious minorities in northern Iraq, Canadian officials announced Tuesday. 

Breitbart editor resigns after release of paedophilia comments

Milo Yiannopoulos, a controversial editor at the far-right Breitbart news website, resigned Tuesday after the emergence of recordings in which he appears to defend sexual relationships between young boys and older men.

Trump administration opens door for mass deportations

The US Department of Homeland Security laid the groundwork Tuesday for mass deportations of immigrants living illegally in the United States under an executive order by President Donald Trump last month.

Brexit bill: House of Lords says public can change mind on leaving EU

The British public should be able to change their minds on Brexit - just as Prime Minister Theresa May did, the upper chamber of parliament heard Tuesday during a marathon debate on legislation to kick off EU negotiations.

Italian lawmakers, rights activists clash over gay sex club scandal

Gay rights activists and conservative politicians clashed Tuesday after the chief of Italy's anti-discrimination office quit over allegations that money had been authorized for gay sex clubs.

EU countries agree new rules to avoid tax evasion

European Union finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday reached a political agreement on new rules to ensure that multinational corporations do not declare profits in the countries where they pay the least tax but in the countries where they generate it.

Trump condemns "horrible, painful" anti-Jewish incidents

US President Donald Trump condemned a recent spate of threats against Jewish community targets across the United States, during a visit Tuesday to the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

FinMin expects Croatia to exit Excessive Deficit Procedure this spring

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said on Tuesday Croatia could exit the Excessive Deficit Procedure this spring and that it was showing progress in correcting macroeconomic imbalances.

Austria seeks to create jobs, but new EU immigrants need not apply

Austria plans to create 160,000 jobs in the next three years by subsidizing companies, but the project has raised concerns because it effectively excludes people who recently immigrated from other EU countries.

Juncker: Not good for W. Balkans that some in Washington want to water down EU

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday it was not good for Western Balkan countries that some people in the new US administration gave the impression of being against the European Union because those countries needed the prospects of EU membership.

Citizens invited to help create Croatian version of Monopoly

A project to create a Croatian edition of Monopoly, in which citizens can participate by submitting proposals and which could become a souvenir for tourists, was presented at a press conference on Tuesday.

German state approves full-face veil ban

Legislation that bans face veils in select public spaces and situations was agreed by the government of the southeastern German state of Bavaria on Tuesday.

Indian restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok named Asia's best for third year

Bangkok's Indian eatery Gaggan on Tuesday was named the best restaurant in Asia for the third consecutive year by Asia's 50 Best Restaurants.

HGK: 16 Croatian companies to exhibit at IDEX defence exhibition

Sixteen Croatian companies will exhibit their products at the 13th IDEX 2017 defence exhibition in Abu Dhabi, to be held on February 19-23.