Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray made their way into the Madrid Open quarter-finals Thursday, each with straight-set wins.
The top-ranked Djokovic beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-1 for his 30th win of the season, the most on tour.
Defending champion Murray defeated Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-2.
“I wanted to be aggressive and it’s what I’ve done,” Djokovic, who had 25 winners and only 11 unforced errors, said.
“The conditions were quite different than yesterday, it was a bit slower but a bit more windier, so I had to be concentrated.”
Djokovic will next face either seventh-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or 11th-seeded Milos Raonic, who were in action last night.
Murray eased into the last eight with a comfortable win. The opening set went with serve until the 10th game, when Murray’s relentless pressure finally told.
A stunning cross-court pass from the tightest of angles at 30-15 rattled Frenchman Simon and Murray duly broke to take the set.
Murray then broke his frustrated opponent in the second game of the second set.
He had won five games in a row before Simon stopped the rot by holding serve in the fourth, but that was merely putting off the inevitable.
A lengthy delay in proceedings while a spectator received medical attention failed to knock Murray off his stride and another break sealed a routine victory.
“It was good,” the Scot, who will face Tomas Berdych in the last eight, told Sky Sports.
“At the beginning of the match I didn’t return that well, but after that I started to get some rhythm on my return and I was able to dictate a lot of points. I served well and he wasn’t able to put pressure on my serve. He’s a tricky player, he lulls you into a false sense of security and dictating the points is not easy.”
Czech Berdych beat Spain’s David Ferrer 7-6, 7-5.
World No 6 Kei Nishikori continued his fine form on the clay in Spain to reach the last eight with a 6-4, 7-5 win over 10th seed Richard Gasquet.
Nishikori registered his first win over Gasquet in seven attempts.
The Japanese survived a blip when he missed out on two match points on his own serve before being broken at 5-4 in the second.
However, he responded immediately to break the Gasquet serve for the fourth time in the match before serving it out.
In the women’s draw, the only remaining seed Simona Halep was victorious in an all-Romanian quarter-final against Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 0-6, 6-1.
American qualifier Louisa Chirico also continued her fairy-tale run to reach the semi-finals.
Chirico, ranked 130 in the world, beat Australian Daria Gavrilova 7-6, 6-2 to reach her first WTA semi-final where she will face Dominika Cibulkova.
Chirico beat 14th-seeded Ana Ivanovic in the second round, and took advantage of the late withdrawal of Victoria Azarenka in the third round.
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