Simple for Murray as Simon wilts

Andy Murray, left, eased to victory over an out-of-sorts Gilles Simon (AP)

Andy Murray, left, eased to victory over an out-of-sorts Gilles Simon (AP)

Published in National Sport News © by

Andy Murray was delighted to get past Gilles Simon in straight sets at the Australian Open on Monday after a fourth round encounter he admitted "didn't feel that competitive".

Simon was struggling physically following his five-set marathon against Gael Monfils at the weekend and Murray duly completed a 6-3 6-1 6-3 win to move on to a last-eight clash with Jeremy Chardy.

"It was tough," said Murray. "A tough situation for both players, more so obviously for him. After the first few games it didn't feel that competitive. At this stage of a grand slam you're geed up and prepared for a tough battle. That's why it becomes hard because the emotions aren't quite into it."

The Scot continued: "You're not necessarily feeling pressure but you're wanting to try to finish the match as quickly as possible."

It was hard to gauge the performance given his opponent's limitations but Murray will be pleased to have made it this far without overly exerting himself.

The match was in stark contrast to title rival Novak Djokovic's five-hour struggle against Stanislas Wawrinka on Sunday night and the Scot will be hoping his relatively easy route through the bottom half of the draw will prove an advantage in the challenges which lie ahead.

Murray was pleased to have spent just 95 minutes on Hisense Arena in advancing to his ninth successive grand slam quarter-final.

"I think it was always going to be that way," he added.

"I felt after the first few games, because he wasn't serving hard at all, his forehand side wasn't moving that well either (that) it was just about trying to finish the match as quickly as I could and then getting ready for the next one."

Simon had almost four hours of treatment after the Monfils match and he conceded his physical condition meant he had little chance of improving a record which now stands at one win from 11 meetings with Murray.

"It was difficult for me but I knew that before," he said. "It was a painful hour and a half on the court. But Andy is a very good player anyway so it's always very hard to beat him. Without being 100 per cent you have almost no chance."

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