Andy Murray took exception to being asked why he kept putting his fingers to his lips
Unfortunately, though, Kyle Edmund narrowly missed out on making this the most successful Roland Garros for British men since 1963 when he was beaten in five sets by South African Kevin Anderson.
Instead, once again, it has been left to Murray to fly the flag for Britain alone, although many questioned whether the world No1 would make it into the second week himself.
Nevertheless, after so many weeks of indifferent results and angry on-court performances, Murray seemed in total control as he finished off a 7-6, 7-5, 6-0 demolition of the No29 seed on Court Philippe Chatrier.
When asked why he kept putting his finger to his lips, Murray said: “I don’t know why I was doing it. Why does it matter? What’s the big deal? I don’t get it!
“If I say something, you guys ask me what I was saying; if I say nothing, you ask me why I don’t say anything. What do you want me to do? What do you want me to say? It’s irrelevant.
Andy Murray beat Juan Martin Del Potro 7-6, 7-5, 6-0
I don’t know why I was doing it. Why does it matter? What’s the big deal? I don’t get it!
“What’s relevant is what happens during the points. I played really well during the points today, and like in the last round I found a way to turn the match around.”
The match hinged on a first set that was so tight that in the end it took a split decision from two of the officials before it could finally be given to Murray.
The Scot had battled back from a break down to get to the tie-break, during which a back-and-forth battle saw both men squander set points until Del Potro thought he had escaped another one with a fierce shot down the line.
But a late call from the line judge had the umpire down from his chair to check the mark, and only once the two of them had conferred over the clay could Murray claim the spoils.
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Murray knocked further stuffing out of Del Potro in the second set before picking him clean with some sublime tennis in the third.
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Kyle Edmund was knocked out by Kevin Anderson in five-sets
“Obviously from his reaction at the end of the first set, he was pretty disappointed,” Murray said. “He had some opportunities obviously to close it out, and he served a double fault in the tiebreak on one of the set points.
“But I believe in myself, so even when things aren’t going well, I believe I can turn it around.”
That was the one thing Edmund could not quite do with 6ft 8in Anderson. He showed great maturity to win the opening tie-break only to slip up in the second one, even bouncing back to break at the end of the third.
But once Anderson got his nose in front in each of the final two sets, his booming serve proved impenetrable as the world No56 completed a 6-7, 7-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 victory.
Edmund said: “The reality is you’re not going to get masses of opportunities. They’re all very small opportunities, small margins, and a few points here and there. I think that was the reality of it for me today.”