Andy Murray reached the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters with a comprehensive 6-2 6-1 win over Portuguese qualifier Frederico Gil in only 72 minutes.
Confident from the outset despite the windy conditions, Murray was far too strong for Gil and had him constantly on the defensive with his greater variety and weight of shot.
The Scot broke serve in game three and then played the first drop shot of the day, having got on the wrong side of the home crowd 24 hours earlier for using the same tactic against an injured Simon. There was nothing but applause this time, however, such was the quality of the stroke. Murray gave further evidence that his forehand is really finding its range on the clay as he broke again on his way to taking the first set.Read more (170 words)
Gil, playing arguably the biggest match of his career, had Murray running all over the court as he earned two break points at the start of the second, but after chasing down a poor drop shot he caught the tape with a seemingly easy forehand put-away and the chance was gone.
Deflated, Gil made four errors in a row to hand over another break in game three and Murray then accelerated towards the finishing line, showing off his full repertoire, with one flipped forehand almost parallel to the net a particular highlight.
It was good, I played very well today in tricky conditions. I hit the ball very well for the majority of the match.
He (Nadal) is incredibly difficult to beat on clay but you need to believe you can win.
I plan on winning the match and you need to go in with that attitude. I've always enjoyed playing Rafa - it's going to be a great test.
Murray will play Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals tomorrow afternoon.