Tennis

French Open: Emotional Murray in last eight

Spectacular but... Though Gael Monfils delighted the local crowd with spectacular shots like this, it was not enough to overcome former champion Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round on Monday.

Spectacular but... Though Gael Monfils delighted the local crowd with spectacular shots like this, it was not enough to overcome former champion Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round on Monday.  

Wawrinka, Nishikori and Cilic also make it to the quarterfinals

Andy Murray racked up his 650th career win to reach the French Open quarterfinals Monday before paying an unscripted, emotional tribute to the victims of the London and Manchester terror attacks.

The World No.1, runner-up to Novak Djokovic in 2016, brushed aside Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

Instead of discussing the match in the traditional on-court TV interview, Murray remembered the 29 people who died in the recent outrages in London and Manchester.

“Obviously there was terrible tragedy in London and Manchester. Paris has had its problems too in recent years,” said Murray. “I am sure everyone will join me... we share our thoughts and prayers with everyone.”

Bouncing back

In his seventh Paris quarterfinal, Murray will face Japanese eighth seed Kei Nishikori who defeated 33-year-old Fernando Verdasco of Spain 0-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-0.

Nishikori, a beaten quarterfinalist here in 2015, has now made the last eight of a Slam for a seventh time, a record for a Japanese man.

Third seed and 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka made the last eight defeating Gael Monfils 7-5, 7-6(7), 6-2.

The Swiss is through to the last eight here for the fourth time after ending French hopes of a first men’s singles champion in Paris since 1983.

The Swiss goes on to face Croatian seventh seed Marin Cilic for a spot in the semifinals. Cilic reached his first quarterfinal here after South African Kevin Anderson was forced to retire while trailing 6-3, 3-0.

Halep in a hurry

Women’s title favourite and 2014 runner-up Simona Halep trounced Spain’s Carla Suarez-Navarro 6-1, 6-1 to make the last eight without dropping a set or breaking sweat. Third seed Halep, who can become the new World No.1 if she wins the title, claimed her first win on clay in six attempts against the Spaniard.

“I played my best match of the tournament. I served well and opened up the court,” said Halep.

The 25-year-old Halep will tackle Ukraine’s fifth seed Elina Svitolina for a semifinal place.

Svitolina reached the quarterfinals for the second time, ending the dream run of World No. 290 Petra Martic with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 win.

Martic, bidding to become only the 10th qualifier to make the last eight, threw away a golden chance.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 3:34:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/emotional-murray-in-last-eight/article18724374.ece

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