- French Open
Classy Murray books quarter-final spot
Andy Murray is into the quarter-finals of the French Open for a fourth time after he defeated Fernando Verdasco 6-4 7-5 7-6(3) on Suzanne Lenglen.
Murray will take on home favourite Gael Monfils in the last eight after he beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-0 6-2 7-5.
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Even though Murray completed victory in straight sets, at times the match felt like his epic five-setter against Philipp Kohlschreiber in the previous round as he needed close to three hours to get past Verdasco - a player he has now defeated 10 times in 11 career meetings.
"I was a bit nervous at the end but I'm glad to get through," Murray said.
"I was trying to play more aggressively today, because I knew I was going to be a little tired in my legs. The ball wasn't always going in but I got there. I'm laughing at myself more than smiling, but I always enjoy it here."
After saving three break points in his opening service game, Murray converted his one opportunity with a fine cross-court backhand winner to take a 2-1 lead.
However, the British No.1 was unable to save two more break points as Verdasco immediately hit back to level at 2-2.
After the following four games were shared, it was Murray who broke for a second time in the ninth game when Verdasco hit a shot low into the net. And on this occasion Murray made no mistake as he consolidated the break by holding serve to take the first set.
Murray had two opportunities to break in the third and ninth games of the second set. But Verdasco stood firm and forced Murray to hold serve to stay in the set when leading 5-4.
Murray responded by making it 5-5 and made his move in the following game to break for 6-5. He then sealed the set at the third time of asking with a backhand winner to put himself in a commanding position.
Murray went 4-2 in front in the third set courtesy of an early break. However, Verdasco won three successive games after fending off several break points to lead 5-4.
Murray forced a tiebreak after twice preventing the match from heading into a fourth set. He raced into a 3-0 lead, but Verdasco fought back to level at 3-3 with a ferocious forehand. Murray, though, took four consecutive points to end the brave resistance of Verdasco and book his place in the last eight and set up a tie against Monfils.
"I've known Gael for a long time," Murray said. "I first played him when I was 10, he was 11. He is an unbelievable entertainer and a very, very nice guy, but it will be a tough match."