Andy Murray can see why Novak Djokovic took a pass on the 2015 Madrid Open to rest up for the 2015 French Open. Murray barely had time to recover from his win in the twilight hours on Thursday to quickly take out Spanish wildcard Marcel Granollers moving him into the quarter-finals.
Second seed Murray, the 2008 titlist in Madrid when the event was played on hard courts, swept past wild card Marcel Granollers 6-2, 6-0 in 64 minutes.
Murray has now reached the quarter-finals (or better) in 16 of his past 17 tournaments.
A “very tired” Murray said he had to “bluff” Granollers.
“If they want to see top players playing the best tennis, don’t play at three o’clock in the morning,” he said.
“I tried to pump myself as much as possible for this match and bluff him to show I was feeling OK.”
“I wanted to try and start the match with as much energy as possible, and if I could, get off to a lead early,” said Murray. “Obviously, he played a very long match yesterday [versus Gael Monfils], so I felt like if I could get ahead that I would be able to use that momentum well. It would also give me a bit of a lift really.”
Murray broke the Spaniard in the fourth and eighth games of the opening set, before breaking a further three times in the second set.
The number two seed, who won the title in 2008, fought back from 0-40 down on his opponent’s serve in the final game to seal victory.
On Monday, the Scot captured the 32nd title of his career by winning against Philipp Kohlschreiber in the rain-delayed BMW Open by FWU AG final. The pair met two days later in the Madrid second round.
Milos Raonic will challenge Murray on Friday after the fifth seed struck 11 aces in a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Leonardo Mayer in 72 minutes. Raonic has a 3-2 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Murray.
“I got through this one fairly quickly,” added the Scot, who completed his win in 64 minutes. “Hopefully, I’ll play a good match in the quarters.”
Earlier, Rafael Nadal remained on course for a third successive Madrid title following a 6-2 6-2 win over unseeded Italian Simone Bolelli.
The Spanish third seed will now face Bulgarian 10th seed Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals.
“Yeah, everything worries me about Dimitrov,” Nadal said of the player who defeated eighth-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-3.
“He’s a very good player. He serves well, very good forehand. Backhand, too. Slice also.”
Sixth-seed Czech Tomas Berdych is also in the last eight after a 7-5 6-2 victory over Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.