By Joe Bailey
Andy Murray progressed to the quarter-finals of the Madrid Masters on Thursday by beating Gilles Simon with minimal fuss, 6-4 6-2.

As part of the race to secure the No 2 seeding for the upcoming French Open at Roland Garros, Murray must go as deep as possible into the draw here in Madrid to limit any gains that the absent Roger Federer may make on him in the rankings. The Scot will therefore be satisfied to have overcome Simon with relative ease in this match and retain energy for the greater challenges that await.

The match started tightly with both players holding their opening service games, before Murray had to battle through deuce to hold his serve in the third game. He held there and proceedings continued to go with serve until Murray...
By Nigel Graber
Andy Murray tonight survived an all-out onslaught from 37-year-old Radek Stepanek to begin the defence of his Madrid Masters crown and move into round three with a 7-6 3-6 6-1 victory.

Murray was broken in the very first game. This was a taste of things to come, with the Czech veteran pounding the world number two’s serve at will, feeding off the Scot’s defensive slices and knocking off volleys for fun.

Stepanek was relishing the extra pace provided by the altitude and bringing plenty of attitude to boot, with his old-school tennis and OTT celebrations. But at 3-2, Murray’s greater variety of shot began to tell and he broke back to level the set.

The Scot clung on to take the set to a tiebreak and some mentally focused tennis and r...
By Phil Messenger
Andy Murray's troubles continued today as he lost at the semi final stage of the Monte Carlo Masters. The Brit went down 6-2, 4-6, 2-6 to Rafael Nadal.

Murray last played Nadal on clay in Madrid last year, putting in a superb performance to beat the Spaniard 6-3, 6-2.  The world number two continued where he left off nearly a year ago, dictating play with a combination of pin-point serving and heavy ground strokes.

Nadal was under pressure from the outset, harried around the court and tormented by a series of sublime drop-shots. The Spaniard finally cracked at 3-2. Murray broke again at 5-2 to take the set at a canter.

Nadal is nothing if not resilient, and the Spaniard broke Murray at the start of the second set. The Brit quickly ...
By Joe Bailey
Andy Murray delighted his fans by turning on the style to beat Milos Raonic in the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday. The British world number 2 won 6-2, 6-0.

Murray had come through against Benoit Paire in a laboured yet ultimately gutsy performance on Thursday. That match had seen a continuation of his recent clunky play since reaching the Australian Open final in January and becoming a father, so hopes were not high that he would turn things around against the big-serving Raonic.

However, Murray schooled the Canadian and looked switched-on and determined from the start. Returning and serving well, the Scot dropped only two games in the match and bagelled his opponent in the second set.

Murray takes this sudden upturn in form into...
By Joe Bailey
Andy Murray came through a gruelling match in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters today, beating Frenchman Benoit Paire 2-6, 7-5, 7-5.

After Novak Djokovic's shock early exit at the hands of Jiri Vesely yesterday, every other player remaining in the draw would have felt a renewed sense of optimism that they could shoot for glory in Monaco. That dream remains alive for Murray, but he continued his recent scratchy form since becoming a father by first allowing Paire to start strongly, then forcing his way back to parity and snatching the match as the final set was approaching the dreaded tiebreak.

Murray's fans were in the doldrums in the early stages of the match as the Scot's first serve percentage languished at 38% in the opening set....
By Katie Finnegan
Andy Murray was made to work hard to beat qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert in round two of the Monte-Carlo Masters, eventually prevailing 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

Murray wasn't at his best in this match, in particular struggling with accuracy on his forehand. Herbert gave a good account of himself, but in the end Murray's greater experience gave him the advantage.

After winning a comfortable first set, Murray's form dipped and he dropped his serve three times in the second set and the world number 95 levelled the match.

But the second seed responded positively in the decider, taking advantage of Herbert's errors to break for a 4-1 lead. Although Herbert had a chance to break back three games later, Murray held firm before eventually closing o...
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