100 Days To Go to Rio 2016!

100 Days To Go to Rio 2016!

Defending champion Murray marches on at Mutua Madrid Open

Defending champion Murray marches on at Mutua Madrid Open

Britain's defending champion Andy Murray secured his place in the quarter-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open after recording a convincing victory over France’s Gilles Simon at the Caja Mágica today. 

The second seed broke his opponent three times in the second set to complete a 6-4, 6-2 win in one hour and 38 minutes.

Murray is now due to face a last-eight encounter with Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych, a 7-6, 7-5 winner over Spain’s David Ferrer.

"It's always difficult to get the balance right against him because the better you hit the ball, the faster it comes back against him," said Murray, who did not drop serve throughout his match.

"He uses the pace very well so I knew I needed to be patient and use variety, but also when the chance is there, go for it.

"Sometimes he makes players rush, but today I didn't have that problem.

"It was good from start to finish."

Romania's Simona Halep booked her place in the women's semi-finals
Romania's Simona Halep booked her place in the women's semi-finals ©Getty Images

If Murray gets past Berdych he will go up against either four-time winner Rafael Nadal of Spain or Portugal's Joao Sousa in the semi-finals of a tournament that is an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event 

Nadal, who lost to Murray in last year's final, beat the United States' Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-2 to set up a quarter-final encounter with Sousa, a 6-1, 6-7, 6-2 victor against another American Jack Sock. 

World number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia, the winner of the event in 2011, had no problems in overcoming Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-1.

In the women’s competition, 2014 runner-up Simona Halep of Romania advanced to the semi-finals after seeing off compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu.

Sixth-ranked Halep, the only seeded player still in the draw, defeated the qualifier 6-3, 0-6, 6-1 and now goes on to meet Australia's Samantha Stosur, a 6-3, 6-4 winner at the expense of Romania's Patricia Maria Tig. 

American qualifier Louisa Chirico continued her good run to reach the last four with a 7-6, 6-2 win against fellow surprise package Daria Gavrilova of Australia.

Awaiting her in the semi-finals is Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulková, who came from behind to overcome Romanian wildcard Sorana Cirstea 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.