The top seed Andy Murray reached the quarter-finals of the Aegon Championship in Birmingham with a straight-sets victory over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain. The 6-4, 6-4 win, achieved in just under 70 minutes, set up a last-eight clash against eighth seed Mardy Fish. The American beat 10th seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-1, 6-4 while Steve Darcis of Belgium got a walk-over in his match against fourth seed Gael Monfils. The Frenchman opted out after injuring his left wrist.
It was the first time the pair had met and the Spaniard gave the No 1 seed Murray some awkward moments in the opening set. But British player managed to break him after an intensely-fought ninth game. "Once I got the break in the first set, I felt more comfortable and went for my shots a bit more," said Murray. In the women's section, the British No 2 Elena Baltacha let slip a one-set lead to lose to fifth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round.
Baltacha, whose match was held over from yesterday because of weather delays, took the first set in a tie-break but the 17-year-old Russian fought back to claim a 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 victory in two hours and 31 minutes. Maria Sharapova completed her rescheduled match from Wednesday night against American Alaxa Glatch. After another rain delay, she returned to break her opponent to win 6-3 6-4 and set up a meeting with the seventh seed Francesca Schiavone of Italy.
At Halle, Andreas Beck dispatched lucky-loser Lukas Lacko 7-5, 7-6 in the second round to become the fifth German to reach the quarter-finals. Beck joined compatriots Philipp Kohlschreiber, Tommy Haas, Mischa Zverev and Benjamin Becker after having had to work hard against Lacko, the late replacement for Roger Federer. Earlier, Haas had knocked out world No 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-6. Only Philipp Petzschner failed to join the German charge to the last eight when he lost in three sets to Belgium's Olivier Rochus 5-7, 7-5, 6-2. And with four of the five Germans residing in the top half of the draw, the tournament is at least guaranteed of an all-German semi-final and one home-grown finalist.