/ Tennis

Andy Murray eases into French Open quarters

Updated: Monday, 02 Jun 2014 21:21 | Comments

Andy Murray beat left hander Fernando Verdasco 6-4 7-5 7-6
Andy Murray beat left hander Fernando Verdasco 6-4 7-5 7-6

Seemingly undiminished by his marathon two-day five-setter in the previous round, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray beat left hander Fernando Verdasco 6-4 7-5 7-6(3) to reach the French Open quarter-finals.
              
Both players completed their delayed third round matches on Sunday and while neither appeared to hit top gear on Monday, Murray showed enough speed and touch, particularly in the closing games of the second set, to send the 24th seed home.
              
Verdasco's foul-mouthed blast at the umpire over a contested line call, that in the end Murray conceded, had fired up the Spaniard to break in the third set and peg back the Briton but the seventh seed regrouped to prevail.
              
Asked if it was his best performance of the tournament, Murray said courtside: "I think so. (It was an) unbelievable atmosphere today, I really enjoyed myself on the court. We played some great points and he fought extremely hard in the third set."


              
Murray, still without a coach since splitting with Ivan Lendl in March, will play French showman Gael Monfils for the chance to reach the semi-finals at the clay grand slam for the first time since 2011. 

Home favourite Monfils reached the quarter-finals for the fourth time when he ended the run of unseeded Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez with a 6-0 6-2 7-5 win.             

The 23rd seed, who also made it to the last eight in 2008, 2009 and 2011, blazed through the first two sets and held off the world number 41 in the third, ending the contest on a sun-drenched court Philippe Chatrier with an ace.             

Spaniard David Ferrer set up a quarter-final against defending champion Rafa Nadal, who beat him in last year's final, with a 6-3 6-3 6-7(5) 6-1 victory over Kevin Anderson.
              
The fifth seed reached his tenth straight grand slam last eight by beating the 2.03 metre (6ft 8in) South African, who towers nearly 30 cm (1 ft) above him.
              
Ferrer dominated baseline rallies with the 19th seed in the first two sets before they exchanged breaks in the third and Anderson worked the angles better, sending Ferrer scampering and sliding and taking the tiebreak when the 32-year-old put a forehand into the net.
              
Ferrer fought straight back in the fourth, unleashing a string of forehand winners to break Anderson in the second and fourth games to win the match.

Defending champion Nadal dismantled unseeded Serbian Dusan Lajovic 6-1 6-2 6-1 on Monday to set up a meeting with Ferrer.

Eight-times champion and world No1 Nadal improved his Roland Garros win-loss record to a remarkable 63-1 to advance having not dropped a set in Paris this year.
              
World No 83 Lajovic, who had not previously lost a set on his French Open debut, quickly went 5-0 down and never recovered, also losing the first four games of the second set to love.

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