- French Open, Day Nine
Masterful Murray blows Gasquet away
Andy Murray shrugged off a languid start to record a hugely impressive four-set victory against home favourite Richard Gasquet in the fourth round of the French Open.
Murray, who will now play sixth seed David Ferrer in the quarter-finals, triumphed 1-6 6-4 6-1 6-2 in Paris.
Fourth seed Murray looked uninhibited by the back spasms that plagued him against Jarkko Nieminen earlier in the tournament - although he did reach for the affected area on a couple of occasions.
He was not at the races during the opening stanza, but from that point onwards it was a mismatch, with Murray's shot-selection and speed around the court too much for Gasquet to bear.
Gasquet, energised by the crowd's fervent support, breezed through the first set before Murray had time to settle into the match. The Frenchman, springing around like a man in a hurry, snatched two breaks, with Murray's slipshod performance doing little to hold him up. There was an energy and variation to Gasquet's play that Murray, who looked sluggish, could not match.
Murray began to perform in a manner befitting the fourth seed early in the second set, hunting the ball purposefully and forcing Gasquet back. The Scot notched a break in the sixth game - only for Gasquet to turn the tables and grab one of his own immediately afterwards.
The world No. 4 began clutching his back towards the end of the second as a couple of groundstrokes drifted tamely into the net, but a double fault from Gasquet handed him the set and left the contest all square.
By the time the third began, Murray had succeeded in quietening the French crowd, which took away some of Gasquet's vigour. He now looked flustered and untidy, while Murray was in complete control, letting Gasquet dance to his tune. Britain's No. 1 took the third in 24 minutes with two breaks.
Gasquet, having looked totally deflated when he sat down at the end of that set, showed some fight when the fourth commenced - however, Murray appeared in total control of his destiny, and pierced the Gasquet serve in the third game. That was the blow that ended Gasquet's resistance once and for all, as Murray closed out victory with ease.