Paris: Novak Djokovic extended his perfect start to the season at the French Open on Saturday, beating Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 for his 40th straight victory this year.
Djokovic has not lost in 42 matches dating to last year`s Davis Cup final. He and Del Potro returned to Court Suzanne Lenglen on Saturday after splitting the first two sets Friday before the match was suspended because of darkness.
The second-seeded Serb had no problems on Day 2 against Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion. He had 41 winners to Del Potro`s 22 and had four of his five breaks in the final two sets.
Djokovic`s 40-0 start to 2011 is the second-best opening streak in the Open era, which started in 1968. The two-time Grand Slam champion`s overall winning streak of 42 trails only the record of 46 set by Guillermo Vilas in 1977.
Djokovic entered the French Open after beating Nadal in two clay-court finals, making him a contender for his first French Open title. The Serb will take over the No. 1 ranking if he makes the final.
"Today he`s done much better than me and he took his opportunities and made the match very difficult," Del Potro said. "I had my chance in third set, 2-all, two break points, and I miss it. Against this player, if you don`t take your chance, you lose."
In the next round, Djokovic will face No. 13 Richard Gasquet of France, who advanced Friday with a 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil.
Murray moved into the next round despite twisting his right ankle in the second set against Michael Berrer. The fourth-seeded Brit called for a trainer and had his ankle taped before returning to the court. He broke his German opponent on the next point and went on to a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 victory.
"I just rolled my ankle, and then, obviously, pretty sore for the rest of the match," said Murray, adding that he would decide later if he can play in the next round. "I`ve just got to wait and see how it pulls up or do all the right things to make sure, give it my best possible shot for the next match."
Berrer said he failed to take advantage of the situation.
"That was a very big chance. I think a chance like this you get maybe once in your life," Berrer said. "I should have hurt him when he`s down, but that`s difficult for me."
Murray would play Victor Troicki of Serbia, who beat No. 21 Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Also, No. 18 Gilles Simon eliminated 10th-seeded Mardy Fish of the United States 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, and Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina reached the fourth round by defeating Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5).
The sixth-seeded Li, who this year became the first Chinese player to get to the final at a major tournament, defeated Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-2, 6-2 and will next play No. 9 Petra Kvitova. Li has made at least the quarterfinals at the other three Grand Slam tournaments, but she has never progressed past the fourth round at Roland Garros.
Kvitova defeated Vania King of the United States 6-4, 6-2, while Ekaterina Makarova of Russia eliminated No. 16 Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-4, 7-5 and No. 15 Andrea Petkovic of Germany beat No. 24 Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
"I think I can improve, and I have been improving from match to match, which is important," Azarenka said. "Probably could do things better, but I have time to work on and prepare for the next match.”