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By Ros Satar, in Madrid

  • Andy Murray [2] def. Gilles Simon [16] 6-4 6-2
  • Novak Djokovic [1] def. Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2 6-1
  • Rafael Nadal [5] def. Sam Querrey 6-4 6-2

MADRID, SPAIN – Defending champion Andy Murray led the way into the quarter-finals, ably followed by Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

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Andy Murray [2] def. Gilles Simon [16] 6-4 6-2

With the conditions due to take a downturn this week, it was a draughty overcast Court Manolo Santana that played host to the defending champion Murray and 16th seed Simon. It is probably fair to say it took them a while to get settled, Simon putting Murray under pressure early on but the first real chance to break falling to Murray later in the set.

Murray started to worry Simon a little more at the end of the set, finally getting his breakthrough at the end for the break for the set. The start of the second set must have veldt more like a nightmare for the Frenchman who swiftly found himself 0-3 down as Murray started to find his rhythm a lot more in the more subdued conditions.

With Simon finally on the board, a spectator collapsing in the crowd brought about a delay to the proceedings with Murray 4-2 15/0 ahead but Murray kept his foot on the gas, when the match resumed.

Murray said: “It was quite cool and a little bit breezy and the conditions were a little bit heavier. In the beginning both of us made a lot of mistakes in the net. Last couple of days the ball has been a lot livelier. Took both of us a bit of time to adjust to that. After the first six or seven games really started to hit the ball well. I served well throughout the match. It was a good performance.”

He will face Tomas Berdych, who edged out David Ferrer, returning from injury, and while Berdych wants to redress the slim deficit in their head to head (Murray leads their head to head 7-6) Berdych has all three wins on clay.

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Novak Djokovic [1] def. Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2 6-1

The World No. 1 made quite short work out of a potentially tricky opponent. At the start the Spaniard looked like he was more than capable of going toe-to-toe with Djokovic, and even when Djokovic put him under the pump, it took the Serbian four break points to get his reward.

Once he had his nose in front, much like Murray, Djokovic took off at a trot, keeping Bautista Agut pegged back for a straight sets win to set up a clash Milos Raonic, who eased past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets, 6-4 6-4.

After the match he said: “Both of those guys are serving very big. Raonic probably has a slightly better serve, but Tsonga is a player that moves better on clay and plays generally better than Raonic on this surface.

“Both of those guys rely heavily on their first serves. If the first serve percentage is high, they can be a threat to any player on any surface.

“Whoever I get to play against, I know that one of the key elements for me and things that I have to do well in order to win is the return, get back in play as many balls as possible, serve well with the high percentage, and then hope for the best.”


Rafael Nadal [5] def. Sam Querrey 6-4 6-2

The good citizens of the Caja Magica will have held their collective breaths at the start of the match as Querrey set off at quite a click, breaking early and looking like he could yet deliver an upset.

Let’s face it – the day had been cold, the roof had been on and then off again, and now the big serving American was imposing his game in the cauldron? Well it was short lived, as Nadal broke back at the middle of the set, and from there the Spaniard took charge as Querrey’s level dipped just enough to give Nadal the lead.

Nadal will face Joao Sousa, who beat Jack Sock for his place in the quarter-finals., 6-1 6-7(3) 6-2.


Novak Djokovic [1] v Milos Raonic [11] – H2H: Djokovic leads 6-0

Looking at it on paper, Raonic looks hopelessly outclassed even at this still comparatively early stage in his career. Yet his two previous meetings with Djokovic have been tough battles and Djokovic has had to work extremely hard for the wins.

The not necessarily new, but definitely improved Raonic has made a point of starting extremely well in tournaments where he has gone deep, but on several occasions already this year, his body has let him down when it counts the most.

Most recently at the Monte Carlo Masters (and for the second time against Murray this year) Raonic has experienced discomfort that has really hampered his ability to push up into his serve, which of course is his big weapon.

It remains to be seen whether Raonic will believe he has more to back up that big serve, and perhaps given the number of times his body has let him down this year, whether a small adjustment may help make him even more competitive.

Djokovic is one of the best returners in the game, and will need to be pin sharp to keep the Canadian at bay. He does have a good net game when he comes in, but Djokovic will look to dominate him from the baseline and keep him pinned there,.

Prediction: Djokovic in three sets.


Draw & Results (Click for scores)


Play continues at the Mutua Madrid Open at 12pm (11am BST).

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