Andy Murray douses fiery Verdasco to reach French Open quarters

Reuters| Updated: Jun 03, 2014, 04:26 AM IST

Paris: Andy Murray put a lid on a boiling Fernando Verdasco to defeat the Spaniard and reach the French Open quarter-finals following a sharp exchange with the umpire on Monday.

Tempers frayed in the seventh game of the third set after Verdasco`s serve was called out as he was heading back to the chair for the change of ends.

The left-hander asked umpire Pascal Maria to call in the supervisor to deal with the rumpus, before Murray conceded the point, keen to move on in a fast-paced match.

"He missed...the return because my serve was to the line and he couldn`t hit it with the strings," Verdasco told reporters after losing 6-4 7-5 7-6(3).

"So it was completely out of sense to serve a first serve again. I said to call the supervisor, and Andy said that it was fine, and it was a point for me."

Nursing the grudge as well as licking his wounds at failing in his bid to reach the Paris last eight for the first time, Verdasco said run-ins with Maria were nothing new.

"He`s not the kind of umpire I get along with. I can tell you that," he bristled.

On court, Verdasco`s blast at the umpire fired him up to break back but seventh seed Murray regrouped to prevail in a tiebreak, having shown flashes of speed and touch throughout the match.

Wimbledon champion Murray played down the incident, telling reporters: "It was a great serve and I mis-hit the ball. It didn`t go in. Yeah, I gave him the point."

The Briton said the two-day fifth setter in the previous round against Philipp Kohlschreiber - including a 96 minute 12-10 final set which was the longest decider Murray has played - had drained him.

"I was tired after the match against Kohlschreiber. It was a long match. It was mentally draining as well when you don`t have that day to recover and you`re coming back on court 7-all," he said.

Verdasco had also finished his delayed third-round match on Sunday after fading light curtailed play on Saturday.

Asked if it was his best performance of the tournament, Murray said courtside: "I think so. (It was an) unbelievable atmosphere today, I really enjoyed myself on the court. We played some great points and he fought extremely hard in the third set."

Murray, still without a coach since splitting with Ivan Lendl in March, will play French showman Gael Monfils for the chance to reach the semi-finals at the clay grand slam for the first time since 2011.