It was the fourth round Australian Open win Novak Djokovic probably wishes he’d had.
Andy Murray swept an ailing Gilles Simon off court in straight sets in time for an early dinner - a stark contrast to the man whom the Scot may meet in Sunday’s Australian Open final.
Djokovic spent more than five hours on court to eventually finish off Stanislas Wawrinka in the early hours of Monday morning.
Fourteenth seed Simon, who had played a five-set marathon the previous round against Gael Monfils, appeared to also be suffering from some sort of ’flu, coughing and blowing his nose regularly during the match.
But Murray barely broke sweat in Monday’s 6-3 6-1 6-3 victory.
He broke Simon’s serve six times in the first two sets, and grabbed an early third set break before breaking again to win the match in one hour and 35 minutes.
Murray admitted Simon appeared to be struggling, and admitted it was a difficult situation for both players to find themselves in deep in a Grand Slam tournament.
‘‘I just have to try to focus on my side of the court, but clearly he was struggling with his movement today,’’ Murray said.
‘‘I felt after the first few games - he wasn’t serving the ball hard at all - it was just about trying to finish the match off as quickly as possible.’’
Simon admitted the long match against Monfils had affected his health, and described his day against Murray as ‘‘a painful hour and a half on the court’’.
‘‘It is difficult when you run a marathon two days before to run another one two days after,’’ Simon said.
Murray now plays another Frenchman, surprise packet Jeremy Chardy, in the quarter-finals.
Chardy beat Murray the last time they played in the Cincinnati Open last year.
He won through to the quarter-finals earlier on Monday with victory over Italian Andreas Seppi.