Murray through to next round in Monte Carlo

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The Independent Online

Andy Murray overcame a sluggish start to reach the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Romania's Victor Hanescu on a bad day for French players.

The fourth-seeded Briton was 2-1 down in the opening set after dropping serve in the third game but he woke up to take four games in a row. He clinched victory when Hanescu netted a forehand on the fourth match point.

Murray, who has already won three titles this year, next faces Croatian 14th seed Marin Cilic or Italian Fabio Fognini, a 1-6 6-3 6-3 winner against Czech Tomas Berdych, for a berth in the quarter-finals.

"It takes time (to adjust). I never played that well on clay, especially in the last couple of years," Murray said in a courtside interview.

"I played solid and he made some mistakes. I am happy with the way I played given that it was my first match on clay this season."

Earlier, world number seven Gilles Simon produced an awful performance against German qualifier Andreas Beck, going down 7-5 6-1 in a second-round match.

Simon, seeded sixth, had a first-round bye and never found his pace against Beck, who had already beaten compatriot Nicolas Kiefer on Monday.

"Winning the first round was good but winning today is simply fantastic," Beck told a courtside interviewer.

"I don't remember ever playing so badly," Simon told reporters.

"Nothing was right. Nothing was working. My forehand, my backhand, my serve, nothing. I believe this match is a record."

Beck will face either Spanish 11th seed Tommy Robredo or Argentine Juan Monaco for a place in the last eight.

Two other Frenchmen were sent packing after losing in the first round.

Ninth seed Gael Monfils was beaten 6-3 6-1 by Serb Janko Tipsarevic, who allowed him to pick up only 12 points in the second set and set up a second-round encounter with Italian Simone Bolelli.

Paul-Henri Mathieu snatched a set from 12th seed David Nalbandian of Argentina but eventually lost 6-4 3-6 6-3.