Murray reaches last eight in Paris for the first time, while Nadal crashes out

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The Independent Online

Andy Murray set his sights on matching Tim Henman's 2004 semi-final appearance at the French Open after powering through to the last eight at Roland Garros

. The 22-year-old became only the third British man to make the quarter-finals in the Open era here, after Roger Taylor in 1973 and Henman five years ago, thanks to his 7-5 7-6 (7/4) 6-1 over 13th seed Ancic.

Murray is proud to be in such company but is not planning to stop there.

"Every time you do something like this, it's nice," said the British number one. "Tim obviously made the semis here and it would be nice to try to match that. I always felt I could play well on clay. I just needed a bit of time to find my game.

"The results have got better because I've played more matches. That's nice but I'll try to go further."

The Scot could hardly find fault with his superbly consistent performance against Cilic, who came into the match without having dropped a set.

"I came through all the tough situations well," said Murray, who plays Fernando Gonzalez in the quarter-finals.

Murray might also have been privately delighted to see potential semi-final opponent Rafael Nadal crash out to Robin Soderling.

The Scot added: "I played maybe two bad service games but you are always going to get moments like that in a best-of-five-set match.

"I was obviously happy to win in straight sets because he's been playing very well."

Murray, who made just 14 unforced errors, is managing to conserve much-needed energy as he sweeps aside all before him.

He broke twice in the first set today and after squandering a 4-2 lead in the second, he was never worried in the tie-break.

In the third, Cilic was 3-0 down when he called on the trainer to treat a strain in his left thigh.

The encounter was all over by then, though, Murray clinching victory on his second match point.

"I'm playing well - you don't get to the quarters of the French by not playing good clay-court tennis," added the Briton, whose best previous display here was a third-round appearance last year.

"This clay-court season has been good. It's much better than in previous years. I try to keep improving."

Gonzalez, the 12th seed, should be an even tougher opponent for Murray, as the Chilean still yet to lose a set.

He was very impressive in his 6-2 6-4 6-2 win over 30th seed Victor Hanescu, with his power forehand hitting the spot time and again.

"It's going to be a very difficult match for me," Murray said of his upcoming quarter-final, which should be played on Tuesday.

"I'll have to play well."

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal's remarkable run at Roland Garros came to an end today after he suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Robin Soderling.

Having never lost in the French Open, Nadal was bidding to win a record fifth straight title but the Spaniard was sensationally knocked out by Soderling, the 23rd seed, in four sets.

The Swede triumphed over the world number one 6-2 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-2) in their fourth-round encounter to record one of the biggest upsets in the tournament's history.