Andy Murray sprints into Australian Open quarter-finals with swift demolition of Gilles Simon

British number one beat opponent in straight sets

There have been some marathon matches in this Australian Open but Andy Murray seems to be interested only in sprints.

The 25-year-old Scot won in straight sets for the fourth round in succession here today when he beat Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in just an hour and 35 minutes. Murray is through to his ninth consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final, in which he will face another Frenchman, Jeremy Chardy.

Even Novak Djokovic, the world No 1, has had his endurance tested here this year, having taken more than five hours to beat Stanislas Wawrinka in the longest match of the tournament on Sunday night. Simon, meanwhile, had featured in the third longest match, a five-set victory over Gael Monfils on Saturday that had taken four hours and 43 minutes. That was just 47 minutes less than Murray had spent on court in his first three matches.

Simon, who has never gone beyond the quarter-finals at a Grand Slam tournament, had looked shattered at the end of his third-round victory. The world No 16 had clearly not had enough time to recover for today's match, especially for a contest against someone as good as Murray. Having had to call for a trainer in the third set, he was barely moving on some points by the end.

"I just had to try to focus on my side of the court," Murray said afterwards. "Gilles is one of the best movers on the tour but he was struggling with his movement today. That's what Grand Slam tennis is like today. It's tough."

Simon said he had been expecting a difficult day. "I did all I could for the last two days to play this one," he said. "It was a painful hour and a half on the court."

Given that Murray had won his previous nine matches against Simon, dropping only two sets in the process, the Scot would still have been the favourite even if his opponent had been firing on all cylinders. No player has suffered more defeats at the hands of Murray than the Frenchman.

The match, played in early-evening warmth at the end of a beautiful day, was a non-contest. For much of it Murray appeared to be playing at three-quarter pace, happy to conserve his energy for the greater challenges that will lie ahead.

Murray was quickly on his way, breaking in the opening game, and took the first set in 36 minutes after breaking for a third time. The only game Simon won in the second set was on the Scot's serve. The Frenchman improved marginally in the early stages of the third set, but he had treatment on his right knee after the fifth game and offered little more than token resistance thereafter. Murray put a forehand into the net on his first match point but on the second he hit a winning forehand pass.

Chardy reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Italy's Andreas Seppi. Murray has won four of his five matches against Chardy, but the world No 36 won their most recent meeting in Cincinnati last summer. The 25-year-old Frenchman, who beat Juan Martin del Potro in the third round, is an aggressive ball striker with a big serve and powerful forehand, but he sometimes struggles for consistency.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Richard Gasquet 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in a confrontation between two more Frenchmen. He will next meet the winner of today's concluding night match between Roger Federer and Milos Raonic.

Victoria Azarenka did not always look convincing as she began the defence of her title last week, but the 23-year-old from Belarus needed only 56 minutes to beat Russia's Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-1. In the quarter-finals Azarenka will meet Svetlana Kuznetsova, who beat Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.

Serena Williams the favourite for the title, beat Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-0 and will now face her 19-year-old fellow American, Sloane Stephens.

Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor