Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal booked their spots in the quarter-finals of the men’s singles at the Rio Olympics with wins on Thursday.
Rain meant no matches were completed in Brazil a day earlier, but it mattered little to two of the world’s best.
Defending champion Murray beat Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-1 2-6 6-3 in windy conditions, while Nadal – the 2008 singles gold medalist – was too good for Gilles Simon 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.
Novak Djokovic’s conqueror Juan Martin del Potro, local Thomaz Bellucci and Frenchman Gael Monfils also claimed victories.
It was straightforward in the women’s singles as German Angelique Kerber crushed Johanna Konta to reach the semi-finals along with Czech Petra Kvitova, American Madison Keys and Puerto Rican Monica Puig.
Nadal and Marc Lopez are into the men’s doubles final and Martina Hingis and Timea Bacsinszky reached the last four of the women’s doubles.
MATCH OF THE DAY
Murray found himself in a bit of a hole against Fognini, falling 3-0 behind in the deciding set after losing eight straight games. The Brit’s recovery was stunning, however, as he reeled off six consecutive games.
“I obviously started capitalizing on game points that I had. At the start of the third set I had 0-30 in the first game, and then I had to save a lot of break points in the next. I had a lot of game points myself before finally getting broken. Then I had break points in the third game and didn’t get them. So I just started winning games basically and I hadn’t won one in 45, 50 minutes. It doesn’t happen so often,” – Murray trying his best to explain how he turned it around against Fognini.
“I won, that’s what’s important. I’m in the quarter-finals, which is very good news. A few days ago I wouldn’t imagine being in this position, but we have the desire and the energy high to give my best at every moment and that’s what I am doing,” – Nadal satisfied with victory on a busy day that includes three matches.
“I think she is the kind of player who is going for her shots for 100 per cent every time and she’s trying to have many, many winners,” – Kvitova knows what to expect from Puig in the semi-finals.
The first tennis medals are up for grabs as Nadal and Lopez take on Romanians Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau in the men’s doubles final, while bronze will also be decided. The men’s singles quarter-finals and women’s semis are also scheduled.