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Murray In Cruise Control

Melbourne, Australia

Murray© Getty ImagesAndy Murray is yet to drop a set at this year's Australian Open.

World No. 3 Andy Murray is through to the Australian Open quarter-finals without dropping a set, beating Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 on Monday in the fourth round in Melbourne. Murray is a perfect 8-0 in 2013, having won the Brisbane International in the first week of the season (d. Dimitrov).

The Scot is bidding to win his second major championship after triumphing at the US Open (d. Djokovic) last year. He has twice before reached the final at Melbourne Park, finishing runner-up to Roger Federer in 2010 and Novak Djokovic in 2011.

Against an ailing Simon, Murray was left frustrated at an unforced error count of 24, including 14 in the first set, but was good enough to beat the tired Frenchman in one hour and 35 minutes. Simon had spent four hours and 43 minutes on court late on Saturday night to beat fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils 8-6 in the fifth set of their third-round contest.

Video courtesy Tennis Australia. Visit the official tournament website

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

“It becomes hard because the emotions aren't quite into it. You're not quite necessarily feeling pressure, but you're wanting to try to finish the match as quickly as possible.”

“It was a painful hour and a half on the court,” admitted Simon. “But Andy is anyway a very good player so it's always very hard to beat him. Without being 100 per cent you have almost no chance to do it. I just wanted to do my best at any moment. But it was getting worse and worse on the court. It was a really difficult day.”

The 25-year-old Murray goes onto face another Frenchman, Jeremy Chardy, who ousted Italian No. 21 seed Andreas Seppi 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. Murray takes a 4-1 lead into that clash, but lost their last contest at the Western & Southern Open last year.

“I hope it maybe motivates me more,” said Murray, reflecting on the Cincinnati defeat. “But I think that's why you need to make sure you put a lot of emphasis in every match on the tour. 

“I played well against him in the past. If you go into a match, you don't play particularly well, you lose to a guy like Jeremy, when you then play them in the fourth round or quarter-finals of a slam, they'll go into the match with a bit more confidence. But different conditions here. I hope I can play a better match from my side.”

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