Murray proves that you can't win in Monte Carlo

There can be no pleasing some people – and the sporting public of Monte Carlo are probably more particular in their tastes than most. Twelve months after booing Andy Murray off the court for the manner of his defeat in the Monte Carlo Masters, the Monégasques yesterday jeered the world No 4 for the manner of his 6-3, 6-3 victory over Gilles Simon.

Beating the last Frenchman in the tournament was the least of Murray's sins. Simon injured his right ankle three points from the end of the first set – in which Murray had already taken command – and his movement was never the same thereafter. Murray, sensibly taking advantage, went on to win a succession of points with drop shots, to the displeasure of many spectators.

Every time Murray hit the ball short he was booed and jeered by the crowd, who also let him know what they thought after his victory, which earned a quarter-final meeting today with Portugal's Frederico Gil. It was a wonder that Murray was not pelted with foie gras and caviar from the dining terrace that overlooks the court.

It could be safe to assume that the world No 4 will not be taking his holidays in the principality in the near future. The locals were not slow to show their disapproval last year, when he performed miserably in winning only three games against Philipp Kohlschreiber in his first match.

This was a very different display. If the second set was easier than Murray would have expected, the first saw the 23-year-old Scot play some excellent tennis, in total contrast to the dreadful form he had shown between the Australian Open semi-finals and his first match on clay against Radek Stepanek 24 hours earlier.

Simon is a fine performer on this surface but the world No 24 was unsettled by Murray's clever variations of spin and pace, his rock-solid defence and unpredictable combination of thumping backhands, drop shots – even before the 26-year-old Frenchman's injury – and occasional volleys.

Murray had taken command with a break of serve in the seventh game before Simon turned his ankle in saving a set point two games later. He resumed after lengthy treatment, with the ankle heavily strapped, but Murray promptly took the next two points and the set.

Thereafter it was Monte Carlo or bust for Simon, who went for his shots at every opportunity. The Frenchman broke to love in the opening game of the second set but was clearly in trouble every time he had to move sharply. Murray, whose drop-shot strategy was entirely reasonable, briefly lost focus when he dropped two games from 5-1 up but quickly regained his composure to serve out for the match.

"Concentration can be hard when you know you're in the driving seat," Murray said afterwards. "I just wanted to put my foot down and finish the match as efficiently as possible. The drop shot was winning almost every single point for me. I had to keep him moving."

Murray has never met 26-year-old Gil at tour level but remembers playing him on the Futures circuit. The world No 82, who beat Gaël Monfils 7-6, 6-2, reached his only tour final on clay in Estoril last summer. "I watched some of his match today and he played really well," Murray said. "He can play well on clay. He's proved that by getting to the quarters here this week."

The winner of the quarter-final will play Rafael Nadal or Ivan Ljubicic, who enjoyed straight-sets wins over Richard Gasquet and Tomas Berdych respectively. In the other quarter-finals Roger Federer faces Jurgen Melzer, while David Ferrer will take on Viktor Troicki.

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
News
i100
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
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.

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments