Murray eases past weary Simon
Tennis – Australian Open men’s round-up:Andy Murray eased through to his ninth successive Grand Slam quarter-final with a straightforward victory over fatigued Frenchman Gilles Simon at the Australian Open.
Simon was taken to five gruelling sets by compatriot Gael Monfils in the previous round in a match which drifted into the early hours of Sunday morning and, having battled gamely, tired as the contest went on.
Murray still had to put him away but managed with ease to advance 6-3 6-1 6-3 in one hour and 35 minutes and improve his head-to-head record with the 28-year-old to 10 wins from 11 meetings.
“No one knew what to expect (from Simon) but I just had to focus on my side of the court,” said Murray, who will meet another Frenchman, Jeremy Chardy, in the last eight.
“He’s one of the best movers on the tour but he was struggling today. That’s what Grand Slam tennis is all about, it’s tough.”
Chardy earlier made it through to his first Grand Slam quarter-final after seeing off Andreas Seppi.
Chardy dropped the first set to the 21st-seeded Italian but hit back to win 5-7 6-3 6-2 6-2.
Seppi claimed the opener after breaking for a 6-5 lead but was then pushed around by Chardy with his big serve allowing his opponent few chances to plot a route back into the contest.
Roger Federer defused Milos Raonic’s serve before clinically despatching the Canadian 6-4 7-6 6-2 to reach a 35th straight Grand Slam quarter-final.
The rampant Swiss gave up only five points on his first serve and hit 34 winners in the one-sided two-hour contest against the 13th seed on a cool Rod Laver Arena.
Federer wrapped up the first set when Raonic netted a volley, the second with a brilliant forehand down the line to win the tiebreak 7-4, and the third with another big forehand winner.
The 17-times Grand Slam champion, who is chasing a fifth title at Melbourne Park, will meet seventh seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last eight after he defeatied Richard Gasquet in an all-French battle.
Gasquet hit back from losing the opening set but was powerless to prevent Tsonga from running away with it by breaking early in the third and fourth.
After completing a 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-2 win, the seventh seed said: “I am just very happy to go through.
“Richard is a very good friend and I have known him since I was 10. It’s never easy to play against a friend.”