Published On: Mon, Jan 21st, 2013

Murray shows ailing Simon no mercy

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Andy-MurrayBritish third seed Andy Murray capitalised on the weakened condition of an ailing Gilles Simon as he marched into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on Monday.

The US Open champion was too physical for the French 14th seed, still struggling after a marathon match over the weekend, as he won 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in 1hr 35min on Hisense Arena.

Murray, twice a runner-up in Melbourne and a semifinalist last year, will take on another Frenchman, Jeremy Chardy, in the last eight on Wednesday.

Simon was barely mobile around the court following Saturday’s nearly five-hour win over fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils, and he was a spent force late in the match.

Murray broke Simon’s serve eight times and hit 32 winners with just 26 unforced errors, while the Frenchman could hardly break into a run inside the final set.

“I have to try and focus on my side of the court. He’s one of the best movers on the tour and he was clearly struggling in his movement today,” Murray said.

“It was tough, but that’s what Grand Slam tennis is. The games are so physical nowadays and it was 8-6 in the fifth set the other day and nearly five hours, so it was tough for him.”

Murray largely did as he pleased, breaking Simon three times in the opening set, another three times in the second and two more in the final set.

Murray’s 10th victory over Simon, whose only win over the Scot was back in 2007 in Rome, took him into his ninth consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal and his 15th overall.

Murray has now won 11 consecutive matches at the majors including his breakthrough US Open triumph in New York last September, when he beat world No 1 Noval Djokovic in the final.

He now faces up to the 36th-ranked Chardy in the last eight.

“Chardy’s had two very good wins, he beat Juan Martin Del Potro a couple of rounds ago and I lost to him the last time I played him in Cincinnati, so it will be a tough match,” he said.

CHARDY REACHES FIRST GRAND SLAM QUARTERFINAL

France’s Jeremy Chardy reached the first Grand Slam quarterfinal of his career with a straight-sets defeat of Italian Andreas Seppi at the Australian Open.

The world number 36 recovered from a slow start to beat Seppi 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 and book a berth against US Open champion Andy Murray.

Chardy’s previous best performance at a major was his fourth-round appearance at the French Open in 2008, when he lost to Spaniard Nicolas Almagro.

The 25-year-old had never previously made it past the second round in six visits to Melbourne.

“I always play bad in Australia,” Chardy said. “But this time, I play good.

“I am feeling very good on the court. It was a very difficult match in the beginning and I was tired, but it was the fourth round in a Grand Slam so I had to be strong in my head.”

Chardy admitted to struggling with a knee injury.

“I have pain but now I am in the quarters – I have to forget about it,” he said.

TSONGA THROUGH IN FOUR

French seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open with a four-sets win over compatriot and ninth seed Richard Gasquet.

The 2008 runner-up was too strong for Gasquet, winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in 2hr 20min on Rod Laver Arena and will face either Roger Federer or Milos Raonic in the last eight.

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