MELBOURNE Andy Murray made harder work of it than many expected but still eased comfortably into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with a 6-3 6-1 6-3 victory over weary Frenchman Gilles Simon on Monday.
Simon was a physical wreck after Saturday's marathon third round victory over Gael Monfils but he managed to force his spindly legs around the court to break the third seeded Briton twice.
The constant pressure on his own service gradually took its toll, however, and Murray swept into the last eight with his eighth break after a 95 minute encounter on Hisense Arena.
Murray, seeking his second grand slam title after winning last year's U.S. Open, will next face unseeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy as he bids to secure a fourth successive semi-final berth at Melbourne Park.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by John O'Brien)