ANDY MURRAY eased into the quarter-finals of the Valencia Open with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Fabio Fognini.
The third seed made it 15 wins from his last 17 matches in his quest to qualify for the World Tour Finals in London and next plays South African Kevin Anderson, who was given a walkover by Martin Klizan.
Murray did not face a break point all match and lost only two points on his first serve while breaking his Italian opponent three times.
It was the pair’s first meeting since Fognini defeated Murray in Naples in April to help Italy reach the semi-finals of the Davis Cup.
At that stage he looked a potential top-10 player but he has made more headlines with his on-court behaviour than his tennis since and went into this tournament on a six-match losing run.
A first-round win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas put a stop to that but he never looked like troubling Murray.
The Scot had not been at his best in a nevertheless comfortable victory over Jurgen Melzer on Wednesday, perhaps not surprisingly given he played a gruelling final against David Ferrer in Vienna on Sunday.
But he was much sharper against Fognini, serving better, hitting his groundstrokes with power and accuracy and taking advantage of his opponent’s errors.
He broke serve immediately and went on to win the first four games. Fognini saved a set point to avoid being broken for a third time but Murray had no trouble clinching it.
The British number one struck again in the fifth game of the second set, Fognini frustrated he had not being able to turn a half-chance in the previous game into a first break point.
And holding serve proved enough for Murray to book a date with seventh seed Anderson, who he beat in the fourth round at Wimbledon this summer.