Top-ranked Andy Murray eases into French Open quarterfinals

PARIS — Getting better and better, Andy Murray worked his way into the quarterfinals of the French Open for the fourth straight year by beating Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on Monday.

The top-ranked Murray became the 15th man to reach 650 tour-level match wins.

“I think today was probably the best I have played overall. Each match I feel like I played better,” said Murray, who lost in last year’s final. “I have hit the ball cleaner and started to hit the right shots at the right moments. (I have) come a long way the last ten days or so.”

Murray had never before played the unseeded Russian. The 53rd-ranked Khachanov made 38 unforced errors, compared to only 14 for Murray.

Murray will next play eighth-seeded Kei Nishikori, who recovered to beat Fernando Verdasco 0-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-0.

“Kei is dangerous off both wings,” Murray said. “Moves well.”

Earlier, third-seeded Simona Halep and fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina advanced and will face each other in the quarterfinals.

In four previous matches on clay, Halep had never been able to beat Carla Suarez Navarro. But the Romanian took care of that problem on Monday, routing Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-1 on Court Philippe Chatrier.

“I was expecting a very tough game,” said Halep, the 2014 French Open runner-up. “I managed to push her back.”

Svitolina rallied to beat Croatian qualifier Petra Martic 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

The 290th-ranked Martic was leading 5-2 and 30-0 on Svitolina’s serve in the deciding set. The Ukrainian managed to hold serve, however, which allowed Martic to serve for the match at 5-3.

But Svitolina, who needed treatment on her back at the start of the third set, broke and soon won on her second match point, when Martic hit a backhand into the net.

“It was amazing tennis from Petra today and she was really striking the ball well,” Svitolina said. “I was really happy to come back in the second set. Thanks to the crowd for cheering me on. They gave me the energy to fight.”

Former champion Stan Wawrinka was to play later Monday. The third-seeded Swiss, the French Open champion in 2015, will face 15th-seeded Gael Monfils.

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