PARIS, June 2 (Reuters) - Seemingly undiminished by his marathon two-day five-setter in the previous round, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray beat left hander Fernando Verdasco 6-4 7-5 7-6(3) to reach the French Open quarter-finals on Monday.
Both players completed their delayed third round matches on Sunday and while neither appeared to hit top gear on Monday, Murray showed enough speed and touch, particularly in the closing games of the second set, to send the 24th seed home.
Verdasco’s foul-mouthed blast at the umpire over a contested line call, that in the end Murray conceded, had fired up the Spaniard to break in the third set and peg back the Briton but the seventh seed regrouped to prevail.
Asked if it was his best performance of the tournament, Murray said courtside: “I think so. (It was an) unbelievable atmosphere today, I really enjoyed myself on the court. We played some great points and he fought extremely hard in the third set.”
Murray, still without a coach since splitting with Ivan Lendl in March, will play French showman Gael Monfils for the chance to reach the semi-finals at the clay grand slam for the first time since 2011. (Reporting by Alison Williams, editing by Mark Meadows)