Andy Murray produces another strong performance to beat Frenchman Gilles Simon in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters, 6-3 6-3.
An ankle injury to Simon at the end of the first set turned a highly competitive match into something of a procession, but Murray will be pleased with his performance. The Scot was again dominant from the baseline, mixing some trademark impenetrable defence with considered offence.
After swapping early breaks, both players struggled to hold serve until Murray capitalised on some sloppy play from the Frenchman to break for 4-3. He further strengthened his position with a love service hold, forcing Simon to serve to stay in the set. Murray maintained the pressure and held set point when the Frenchman stumbled and rolled his ankle. Perhaps distracted by his opponents distress, Murray missed the chance to seal the set and Simon was forced to take a medical timeout. After lengthy attention from the medical staff, the Frenchman resumed but was unable to save the set.
Simon was now clearly struggling to move and switched to all out attack, briefly putting the Scot on the back foot. To the obvious displeasure of the French dominated crowd, Murray soon adjusted to this and began to ruthlessly exploit the Frenchman's lack of mobility. Dropshot after dropshot went unanswered, the boos became louder and Murray's normal poker expression was replaced with a delighted grin. The outcome was never in doubt, even when Simon managed to claw a break back with some wild hitting.
Next up is Frederico Gil, the Portuguese qualifier.