05292017

Andy Murray: World number one beats Feliciano Lopez in Barcelona Open last 16

Andy Murray

Andy Murray won 18 of his 21 matches during the European clay-court season last year

World number one Andy Murray is through to the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open after a 6-4 6-4 victory over Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.

The Briton, 29, who had a first-round bye and then benefited from Bernard Tomic’s injury to reach round three, was made to work hard by the 16th seed.

But the Scot’s class told as he broke once in each set to reach his third quarter-final in six events in 2017.

“It was happy to play,” Murray said. “I played well in some important moments.”

“It was nice to get through and have another match tomorrow,” said Murray, who will next face Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Murray accepted a late wildcard for Barcelona after his third-round defeat by Spaniard Ramos-Vinolas in Monte Carlo on Thursday.

Evans’ impressive run ends

Dan Evans<!–

Evans had not played on clay for nearly three years before the Davis Cup rubber against France in April

Dan Evans’ run at the tournament came to an end in the third round courtesy of a 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 defeat by Austria’s Dominic Thiem.

British number three Evans, who had never won on clay at ATP Tour level prior to this event, competed well in the first set but lost in a tie-break.

He was broken early in the second by the fourth seed and never recovered.

Thiem, who beat another Briton, Kyle Edmund, in round two, faces Japan’s Yuichi Sugita in the last eight.

Nadal eyes 10th Barcelona title

Third seed Rafael Nadal advanced to the quarter-finals with a routine 6-3, 6-4 victory over South Africa’s Kevin Anderson.

The Spaniard, who has won this tournament nine times before, never looked in danger against the world number 66, forcing 10 break points throughout the match.

“It wasn’t a day where I took a lot of free points because the court was very heavy,” he said.

“But I was serving well, at a good speed and changing directions well so I’m very happy with how I played.”

It was Nadal’s 50th victory at the tournament and sets up a match with South Korean qualifier Hyeon Chung in the last eight on Friday.

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