Murray new favourite for Monte CarloComments
It must be irritating somehow to be the new tournament favourite only because your arch-rival has already fallen, but that is the position Andy Murray finds himself in in Monte Carlo.
Winning here would be a mighty boost with Roland Garros on the horizon, and Murray ensured he will be in the mix a while longer by getting past local hero Benoit Paire.
Paire easily won the first set and looked to be on course for an upset of his own at 5-4 in the third, but cracked under the pressure to let the Scot through.
There will be the small matter of getting past another player who is known to be pretty good on clay himself. Rafael Nadal had a straight sets win against Dominic Thiem, although the 7-5, 6-3 scoreline does not really reflect the scrap the Austrian gave the eight-times champion.
Other winners into the quarter-finals included Roger Federer, back after a 10-week break, Stan Wawrinka, who plays Nadal next, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Gael Monfils.