Murray makes last eight in Mexico

  • Last Updated: February 27 2014, 7:31 GMT

Andy Murray reached the quarter-finals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco on Wednesday night with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Joao Sousa.

Andy Murray: Through to the next round
Andy Murray: Through to the next round

The Wimbledon champion, seeded second, struggled with his first serve throughout but won 72 per cent of points on his second serve to keep himself in the box seat.

He converted only three of the nine break-point opportunities he mustered, but that proved enough to see off the Portuguese number one in straight sets and secured the Scot a last-eight encounter with Frenchman Gilles Simon.

Murray struggled mightily in the early stages of his first-round match against Pablo Andujar and it was a similar story here as he found himself an immediate break down at the start of the first set.

The 26-year-old wasted two points for an instant break back, but got on the board in his next service game and then earned two more break points, finally converting at the fourth attempt with a flat cross-court forehand for 2-2.

Murray appeared to have broken again for 4-2, but, in a bizarre incident which saw the Scot challenge when he thought his shot had been called out - in fact it had not - he appeared to be punished for verbal interference and the point was given to Sousa, who went on to level at 3-3.

That seemed to spur Murray on, though, as he broke at the next opportunity and served out to take the set.

And that trend continued at the start of the second as a slew of errors from the Portuguese gave Murray the early breakthrough.

The set progressed on serve but Sousa was hanging in there on his own delivery, facing deuce or break points in every game before Murray served out in game 10, capitalising on his second match-point.

Elsewhere, it was a good day for seeds as David Ferrer - the top-ranked player in the tournament - progressed, along with Gregor Dimitrov (four), Kevin Anderson (five), Simon (six) and Ernests Gulbis (seven).

Ferrer was a 7-6 (7/1) 6-2 winner over fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

The players were evenly matched until the top seed raced through a first-set tie-break, and that appeared to break Lopez's resistance.

Anderson also needed a first-set tie-break to help him on his way to a 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 victory over American Sam Querrey.

The South African's success was built on his serve - he lost only three points on first serve all match - while he also came up clutch in the second set, converting the only break point he created.

Dimitrov and Simon were straight-sets winners - with the former beating Marcos Baghdatis 6-1 6-4 and the Frenchman overcoming Donald Young 6-4 6-3 -3 - but life was a little tougher for Gulbis.

The Latvian was pushed all the way Belgium's David Goffin but eventually prevailed 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7/5).

There were also wins for Ivo Karlovic and Alexandr Dolgopolov.

The top three seeds in the women's draw also won.

Number one seed Dominika Cibulkova was a 7-5 6-2 winner over Yanina Wickmayer, while Canada's Eugenie Bouchard (two) beat Lara Arruabarrena by the same scoreline.

Third seed Kaia Kanepi was pushed harder by Julia Goerges of Germany before sealing a 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 7-6 (8/6) triumph.

One seed did fall though - Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia slipped to a 6-1 6-4 loss against New Zealand's Marina Erakovic.

There were also wins for Zhang Shuai, Ajla Tomljanovic, Christina McHale and Caroline Garcia.

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