Murray sees off Gasquet to reach Quarter Finals

Andy Murray rallied from a dismal start to defeat Richard Gasquet and reach the quarter-finals of the French Open.

The number four seed was outplayed in the first set, favouring his left hip as the injury that affected him earlier in the tournament apparently returned.

But he recovered to take the second before Gasquet fell apart, Murray winning 1-6 6-4 6-1 6-2.

The British number one will meet Spaniard David Ferrer on Wednesday for a place in the semi-finals.

Ferrer will present Murray with a significantly sterner test than the mercurial Gasquet – the sixth seed is yet to drop a set on his way to the last eight at Roland Garros.

While Frenchman Gasquet was able to take advantage of Murray’s dismal display in the first set, and compete for most of the second, he was simply blown away in the last two, as the Briton reached his third French Open quarter-final in four years.

However, Murray’s record of reaching the last five Grand Slam semi-finals looked under serious threat in the opening stages when he was barely competitive.

The world number four had been hampered by a back injury during his second-round win over Jarkko Nieminen, but showed no signs of the problem when he easily defeated Santiago Giraldo in the third round.

Yet, on Court Phillipe Chatrier on Monday, the injury looked to have resurfaced as early as the second game of the match, as he gestured to his coaching staff, tapping the left-hand side of his lower back with his racquet and shaking his head.

The signs of discomfort would continue throughout the match, usually after he had lost a point, drawing boos from the partisan Paris supporters.

Murray received a similarly hostile reaction when he first entered the court, smiling at the French crowd in return, but the smile with was nowhere to be seen as he lost the first set in only 29 minutes, the nadir a series of tame forehands into the net to give Gasquet a second break.

The Briton improved in the second as he grew into the match, engaging the world number 20 in some long baseline rallies on a grey and windy day in the French capital.

The pair traded breaks, Murray going ahead as his forehand improved but being pegged back when it again looked shaky, with the turning point in the match coming when Gasquet double-faulted at set point down.

Gasquet had led through Murray’s shortcomings rather than his own good play, and once Murray revived, the Frenchman’s fragile mentality was exposed.

Another double fault gave Murray an early break in the third, a chance the Scot did not waste as he sprinted to take the set, and the fourth followed a similar pattern.

He sealed victory with a forehand winner down the line but will know significant improvement is needed if he is to win a first Grand Slam title.

If he can overcome Ferrer, six-time French Open winner Rafael Nadal, who destroyed 13th seed Juan Monaco, is likely to be waiting in the semi-finals.