Andy Murray. Picture: REUTERS
Andy Murray. Picture: REUTERS

Paris — Andy Murray racked up his 650th career win on Monday to reach the French Open quarterfinals where he was joined by 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka.

World No1 Murray, the runner-up in Paris to Novak Djokovic in 2016, brushed aside Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-3 6-4 6-4.

Murray broke the serve of the 21-year-old, playing in a Slam fourth round for the first time, on five occasions. Before Monday, Khachanov had held serve for 48 service games.

In his seventh Paris quarterfinal, Murray will face Japanese eighth-seed Kei Nishikori who defeated Fernando Verdasco of Spain 0-6 6-4 6-4 6-0.

Nishikori, a beaten quarter-finalist in Paris in 2015, has now made the last eight of a Slam for the seventh time, a record for a Japanese man.

Wawrinka, the third seed, booked a place in the quarterfinals for the fourth time with a comfortable 7-5 7-6 (9/7) 6-2 win over Gael Monfils, the last French player in the men’s draw. Marin Cilic completed the quarterfinal line-up when SA’s Kevin Anderson retired with a thigh injury trailing 6-3 3-0.

It is Cilic’s first Roland Garros last-eight spot while he is the first Croatian to get this far since Mario Ancic and Ivan Ljubicic in 2006. Seven of the top seeds have made the quarterfinals with Spain’s Pablo Carreno
Busta playing the role of gate-crasher having knocked out fifth-seed Milos Raonic.

Women’s title favourite and 2014 runner-up Simona Halep trounced Spain’s Carla Suarez-Navarro 6-1 6-1 to make the last eight without dropping a set or breaking sweat.

Third-seed Halep, who can become the new world No1 if she wins the title, claimed her first win on clay in six attempts against the Spaniard. "I played my best match of the tournament. I served well and opened up the court," said Halep.

The 25-year-old Halep will tackle Ukraine’s fifth-seed Elina Svitolina for a semifinal place.

The two met in the Rome final on the eve of Roland Garros when Halep was beaten and suffered an ankle injury which threatened her appearance in Paris. "I still feel the ankle some times but I’m able to run. I don’t think about it during the points," Halep said.

AFP

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