Andy Murray eased into the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open with a straight-sets win over Gilles Simon.
The world No 2, attempting to retain the clay-court title he won last year, ran out a comfortable 6-4, 6-2 winner.
The opening set went with serve until the 10th game, when Murray’s relentless pressure finally told.
A stunning cross-court pass from the tightest of angles at 30-15 rattled the Frenchman and Murray duly broke to take the set.
Murray then broke his frustrated opponent in the second game of the second set.
He had won five games in a row before Simon stopped the rot by holding serve in the fourth, but that was merely putting off the inevitable.
A lengthy delay in proceedings while a spectator received medical attention failed to knock Murray off his stride and another break sealed a routine victory.
“It was good,” the Scot, who will face either David Ferrer or Tomas Berdych in the last eight, told Sky Sports afterwards.
“At the beginning of the match I didn’t return that well, but after that I started to get some rhythm on my return and I was able to dictate a lot of points.
“I served well and he wasn’t able to put pressure on my serve. He’s a tricky player, he lulls you into a false sense of security and dictating the points is not easy.”