Madrid - Defending champion Andy Murray sealed his place in the quarter-finals
of the Madrid Masters on Thursday with a 6-4, 6-2 win over 16th seed
Murray will face Thomas Berdych or David Ferrer in the last eight on Friday.
"After the first six or seven games I really started to hit the ball well," said Murray.
"I served well throughout the match. It was a good performance."
two-time Grand Slam champion extends his impressive record over Simon
to 14-2, but wasn't pushed as hard as he often has been in the past by
the Frenchman as he didn't even face a break point in just over an
hour-and-a-half on court.
Murray pounced on a series of Simon errors to seal the only break of the first set in the final game.
the Scot was far more dominant in the second as his power and variation
from the back of the court allowed him to race into a 3-0 lead before
breaking again to seal his place in the last eight.
"Normally against Gilles it's always a complicated match because of the way he plays," added Murray.
always makes it very difficult. There are a lot of long rallies, but
because of the conditions, it was a bit faster, I was able to get a lot
more free points on my serve."
Rafael Nadal, who could meet Murray
in a repeat of last year's final, continues his quest for a fifth title
in Madrid when he faces American Sam Querrey later on Thursday.
World number one Novak Djokovic is also in action when he takes on Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.
In the women's Madrid Open, American qualifier Louisa Chirico continued her fairytale run to reach the semi-finals.
ranked 130 in the world, beat Australian Daria Gavrilova 7-6 (7/1), 6-2
to reach her first ever WTA semi-final where she will face Dominika
Cibulkova or Sorana Cristea.