Andy Murray needed pain-killers to complete his fourth-round victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Miami Masters but continued to show improved form to book a quarter-final showdown with Novak Djokovic. The world No 6's crushing 6-4, 6-1 victory was his first over a top-20 player since Wimbledon last summer.
Murray, who returned to competition after back surgery three months ago, seemed to hurt his left hip midway through the fifth game. He sent for the trainer and doctor at a subsequent change of ends, but his movement did not appear to be impaired. The 26-year-old Scot struck his forehand well and dropped just six points on his serve in completing his ninth victory in a row at one of his favourite tournaments.
The defending champion said he was not sure what the injury was. "I was still moving well," he said. "It was just painful. I moved pretty well at the end of the match and loosened up as it went on."
Murray made an early break against the world No 11 in the first set and won six games in a row to take the second. He won 15 of the last 16 points as Tsonga faded badly in the closing stages.
"I served well," Murray said. "I didn't give him any opportunities on my serve. As soon as the ball was short I attacked him. I kept him away from the net, which is where he likes to be."
Djokovic, who reached the last eight with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Tommy Robredo, has not played Murray since losing to his old friend and rival in last year's Wimbledon final.
Murray was selected along with Dan Evans, James Ward and Colin Fleming in Britain's squad for next week's Davis Cup World Group quarter-final on clay against Italy in Naples. Ross Hutchins was named as a travelling reserve.Reuse content