Murray, Wawrinka charge into last eight

 06 Jun 2017 - 0:00

Murray, Wawrinka charge into last eight
Britain's Andy Murray reacts during his French Open match against Russia's Karen Khachanov at the Roland Garros in Paris, yesterday. Murray won 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. Right: France's Caroline Garcia reacts after winning a point against compatriot Alize Cornet.

AFP

Paris:  Andy Murray racked up his 650th career win to reach the French Open quarter-finals yesterday where he was joined by 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka.
World number one Murray, the runner-up in Paris to Novak Djokovic in 2016, brushed aside Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
However, instead of discussing the match in the traditional on-court TV interview, Murray took the microphone to remember the 29 people who died in the recent outrages in London and Manchester.
"Obviously there was terrible tragedy in London and Manchester. Paris has had its problems too in recent years," said Murray.
"I am sure everyone will join me... we share our thoughts and prayers with everyone who has been affected.
"I appreciate everyone still coming out to support the tennis. I am grateful that I can still perform in front of everyone."
Murray broke the serve of the 21-year-old Russian, playing in a Slam fourth round for the first time, on five occasions.
Before yesterday, Khachanov had held serve for 48 successive service games.
In his seventh Paris quarter-final, Murray will face Japanese eighth seed Kei Nishikori who defeated 33-year-old 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 a seventh time, a record for a Japanese man.
Wawrinka, the third seed, booked a place in the quarter-finals 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 quarter-final line-up when South Africa'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 quarter-finals with Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta playing the role of gate-crasher having knocked out fifth seed Milos Raonic on Sunday.
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 number one 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 semi-final 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 sill feel the ankle some times but I am able to run. I don't think about it during the points," added Halep.
Svitolina reached the quarter-finals for the second time, ending the dream run of world number 290 Petra Martic with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 win.
However, Martic, bidding to become only the 10th qualifier to make the last eight in Paris threw away a golden chance for victory.