Madrid Open: Sania-Hingis enter semifinals

Murray broke in the final game of the first set before going on to dominate the second to set up a meeting with Thomas Berdych or David Ferrer in the last eight on Friday. Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis moved to the semifinals in the women's doubles after a 6-3, 6-2 win over Czech pair of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka.

The top-seeded duo of Mirza and Hingis recorded a 6-3, 6-2 win over Czech pair of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in the quarter-final.   -  Getty Images

Andy Murray plays a volley in his match against Gilles Simon at the Mutua Madrid Open.   -  Getty Images

Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis continued their good run of form as they stormed into the semifinals of the Madrid Open women’s doubles event on Thursday. In the men's singles event, World World No. 1 Novak Djokovic eased into the quarterfinals of the Madrid Masters with a resounding 6-2, 6-1 win over Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut on Thursday. Second seed Andy Murray too booked his quarterfinal berth with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Gilles Simon.

The top-seeded duo of Mirza and Hingis recorded a 6-3, 6-2 win over Czech pair of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in the quarterfinal contest that lasted one hour and two minutes. The duo, who won Australian Open title earlier this year, are eyeing their 14th title together.

The Indo-Swiss pair have stumbled in their recent tournaments, going down in the Stuttgart Open final, while making a second-round exits at the Miami Masters as well as at the Indian Wells.

Murray had struggled to get the better of Radek Stepanek in his tournament opener, but looked much more assured against the French 16th seed.

David Ferrer or Tomas Berdych await in the last eight as Murray chases a tournament win that would provide vital momentum ahead of the French Open and maintain his position in second place in the ATP rankings. Djokovic will continue his quest for a fifth title of a dominant season in the Spanish capital when he faces Milos Raonic or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last eight on Friday.

Murray also provided a glimpse of the performances that took the title in Madrid last year, the defending champion stepping up a gear following a three-setter with veteran Stepanek.

Simon had played himself into the contest well, but Murray displayed all of his versatility at 5-4 up in the opening set.

A drop shot brought Simon to the net, allowing Murray to clip a stunning backhand winner across court and the second seed rushed two unforced errors out of the Frenchman to take a one-set lead. That game came in a run of five consecutive Murray wins to straddle the sets and put Murray on course for victory.

After forcing his opponent into an unforced error with ceaseless defensive shots, Murray set up break point by snapping a slow rally with a brutal backhand that Simon could only spoon long, with pressure on the Frenchman's second serve giving the Brit an early break.

Murray did well to maintain his focus after a lengthy delay as a crowd member was taken ill when he led 4-2, and wrapped up the win with a cheeky exchange at the net to ease into the next round.

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