Andy through to French Open quarter finals
Britain’s Andy Murray produced a clinical performance to see off Russian Karen Khachanov and reach a seventh French Open quarter-final.
The world number one came through 6-3 6-4 6-4 to claim his 650th Tour-level victory in two hours and four minutes. He now goes on to face Japan’s Kei Nishikori or Fernando Verdasco of Spain in the last eight.
After his win, Murray paid tribute to the victims of recent terror attacks in Manchester and London.
“It was a terrible tragedy in London and also in Manchester only a few weeks ago. Paris has had some problems in the last few years and I’m sure everyone will join me in sharing the fact that our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this. It is something which has affected large parts of Europe and all over the world. I appreciate everyone still coming out to support us and I’m grateful I can perform in front of you.”
Murray – beaten finalist last year – continued where he left off against Juan Martin del Potro on Saturday to beat the unseeded Russian with barely a scare.
His struggles with form and fitness leading into Roland Garros had left him sticking to the ‘one game at a time’ mantra, with good reason. However, the hugely powerful Khachanov, ranked 53rd, was dismissed by another Murray performance built around his trademark defensive skills allied with some solid serving. The gap in experience was huge, with Murray trying to reach his 29th Grand Slam quarter-final and 21-year-old Khachanov his first.
It was quickly apparent that Khachanov’s power would take some getting used to, as the Russian drew gasps from the crowd for both forehands and backhands. Murray played the percentages beautifully, however, setting up the decisive break point of the opening set with a wonderful return and making just one unforced error in the entire set.
Khachanov would fall behind early in the second after a double-fault, an issue that dogged him throughout the match along with a poor first-serve percentage.mThe first crack in the Murray game appeared just after the hour mark as two loose shots handed the break straight back, but another poor Khachanov service game made it three breaks in a row.
Murray would not relinquish this chance, easing through to a two-set lead and moving 2-0 up in the third.
There was a brief alarm when his first-serve deserted him and he was pegged back to 4-4, but again Murray hit straight back with his fifth break of the match and closed it out on serve.