Murray and Wawrinka charge into quarters

Andy Murray
Picture: AFP

Britain’s Andy Murray racked up his 650th career win to reach the French Open quarterfinals yesterday, joined by 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland.

World No 1 Murray, runner-up in Paris to Novak Djokovic last year, brushed aside Russian’s Karen Khachanov 6-3 6-4 6-4.

Instead of discussing the match in the traditional on-court television interview, Murray took the microphone to remember the 29 people who died in the London and Manchester attacks. “Obviously, there was terrible tragedy in London and Manchester,” Murray said. “Paris has had its problems too. “I am sure everyone will join me as we share our thoughts and prayers with everyone affected.”

Murray broke the serve of the 21-year-old Russian – playing in a slam fourth round for the first time – on five occasions.

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

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

Third seed Wawrinka booked his quarterfinals place for a fourth time with an easy 7-5 7-6 (9/7) 6-2 win over Gael Monfils, the last French player in the men’s draw.

Marin Cilic completed the quarterfinal lineup when South Africa’s Kevin Anderson retired with a thigh injury, trailing 6-3 3-0.

It is Cilic’s first Roland Garros last-eight spot, while he is the first Croatian to get this far since Mario Ancic and Ivan Ljubicic in 2006.

Seven of the top seeds have made the quarters, with Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta the gatecrasher, having knocked out fifth seed Milos Raonic on Sunday. 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 breaking sweat or dropping a set.

Third seed Halep, who can become the new world No 1, claimed her first clay victory in six attempts against the Spaniard.

“I played my best match of the tournament,” Halep, 25, said.

Halep plays fifth seed Ukrainian Elina Svitolina for a semifinal place.

Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova is in the quarterfinals with a 2-6 6-3 6-4 win over Paraguay’s Veronica Cepede Royg, who takes on French 28th seed Caroline Garcia for a place in the semifinals.

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