image

French Open 2015

Andy Murray pays tribute to victims of London and Manchester attacks after victory

British world number one beats Russian Karen Khachanov to reach the quarter-finals of the French Open

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 June, 2017, 10:34pm
UPDATED : Monday, 05 June, 2017, 10:34pm

Andy Murray paid an emotional on-court tribute to the victims of the recent terror attacks in London and Manchester that left 29 people dead and scores injured.

The world number one advanced to the French Open quarter-finals on Monday for the seventh time with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

But Murray took the on-court microphone afterwards to voice his support for those impacted by the tragic events in Britain.

“Obviously there was a terrible tragedy in London, and in Manchester six or seven days ago. Paris has had its problems too in recent years,” said Murray.

“I am sure everyone will join me ... we share our thoughts and prayers with everyone who has been affected.

“It’s obviously something that has affected large parts of Europe.

“I appreciate everyone still coming out to support the tennis. I am grateful that I can still perform in front of everyone,” he added.

The Briton will meet either Japanese eighth seed Kei Nishikori or Spain’s Fernando Verdasco for a place in the semi-finals.

Murray lost to Novak Djokovic in last year’s final at Roland Garros.

Japan’s Kei Nishikori set up a French Open quarter-final duel against Murray on Monday after downing Fernando Verdasco in the fourth round.

Eighth-seeded Nishikori booked a seventh Grand Slam quarter-final spot – the best ever by a Japanese man – with a 0-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 win over 33-year-old Verdasco of Spain.

Nishikori also made the last eight in Paris in 2015 when he fell to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in five sets.

Simona Halep established her credentials to become the newest French Open women’s champion with a blistering 6-1 6-1 victory over Carla Suarez-Navarro to reach the quarter-finals on Monday.

With no former champions left in the field, pregnant Serena Williams watching from the sidelines and Maria Sharapova not invited to compete, third seed Halep has a golden opportunity to break into the grand slam winners’ circle.

Monday’s evidence suggested the Romanian may be ready for it.

“I was expecting a tough game against a very good clay-court player,” Halep said. “But I managed to push her back.

“I feel very, very good now. I think I played the best match here in Roland Garros against Carla, which always was a tough match. And on clay I never won against her, so it was a really good match. I played exactly what I had to.”

There could be no arguments from any observers or from Suarez Navarro who appeared stunned at the outcome.

“The result speaks for itself,” the Spaniard told reporters. “I was late.

“She played flawless tennis. I had some opportunities but I didn’t convert them. I paid the price for it.”

Halep next meets fifth-seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina.

Agence France-Presse, Reuters