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Murray To Face Raonic In QFs; Nishikori Advances

Barcelona, Spain

Nishikori© Manuel QueimadelosKei Nishikori defeated Spain's Albert Ramos.

World No. 4 Andy Murray raced into the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell on Thursday as he defeated Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo 6-1, 6-2. The second-seeded Scot converted five of his nine break points and hit nine aces as he wrapped up victory in 74 minutes.

"It was good," reflected Murray. "I started the match well. He’s played quite a lot of matches on clay this year, so I was expecting quite a lot of long rallies and there was quite a lot at the start. But once I got ahead started putting pressure on him, he started going for more and made more mistakes."

Murray goes onto face Canadian Milos Raonic, who stepped up his clay-court credentials as he ousted sixth-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the ATP World Tour 500 clay-court tennis tournament.

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Looking ahead to his first-time meeting with Raonic, Murray commented, "It’s going to be completely different to today. He’s obviously got a huge serve and a very good game. He can obviously dictate the match, so you need to make sure you play a solid match. There’s a chance that he’s going to give you the odd opportunity by making mistakes and you need to be ready to take that."

The 24-year-old Murray opened his clay-court campaign last week with a quarter-final showing at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (l. to Berdych). He has a 21-5 match record on the season.

The 11th-seeded Raonic dropped just 11 points on serve, saving both break points he faced, and converted all three of his break point chances to claim victory over two-time semi-finalist Almagro in 68 minutes. He is through to his fourth ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season, highlighted by winning titles at the Aircel Chennai Open (d. Tipsarevic) and the SAP Open in San Jose (d. Istomin).

Eighth seed Kei Nishikori secured his place in the quarter-finals with a 7-6(2), 6-3 win over No. 17 seed Albert Ramos of Spain. The Japanese player saved six of the seven break points that Ramos created to clinch victory in two hours and 12 minutes. He is through to his third tour-level quarter-final of the year, adding to last-eight showings at the Australian Open (l. to Murray) and Buenos Aires (l. to Wawrinka).

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