Andy Murray has progressed into the quarter-finals after beating Frenchman Gilles Simon in straight sets (6-4, 6-2) at the Madrid Open in facile fashion, suggesting he is capable of repeating his 2015 victory in the event.
Murray beat Radek Stepanek in the Round of 64 to kick-off his tournament in Madrid and followed by impressively beating the tricky Simon - securing him the first quarter-final space.
The number two seed has looked a bit rusty at the start of this season after crashing out of both the Indian Wells Masters and Miami Masters in the last 32 stage to lower ranked opponents, but since his return to clay in his last two tournaments, Murray has started to find form again.
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Recording five victories from his last six matches - with his only loss being his semi-final at Monte Carlo where he lost a three-set thriller to the in-form Rafael Nadal - Murray has become a player that all those remaining in the competition would like to avoid.
The draw became easier when third-seed, Roger Federer, announced his withdrawal from the event due to a precautional back injury in practice on Saturday.
However, number-one seed Novak Djokovic and the impressive Rafael Nadal are still left in the competition, with both looking to be a hitch in the side of the Scot. But by beating the Spaniard in last year's final, and with Djokovic going out in the first round at the Monte Carlo Masters to Jiri Vesely, the Brit will fancy his chances to take home the prize money again.
Murray will face either Tomas Berdych or David Ferrer in the next round, after the conclusion of their game later today.
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