Andy Murray underlined his burgeoning clay-court prowess as he swept aside home favourite Tommy Robredo in straight sets to ease into the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open.
Better was expected of the 16th-seeded Robredo on his favoured surface but the Spaniard did at least push Murray in the first set before succumbing meekly to the world number three in the second.
Murray’s 7-5 6-1 win in one hour and 43 minutes is arguably one of his best results on clay, and on the eve of his 22nd birthday the Scot looked like a man ready to become a contender on a surface which has traditionally highlighted his shortcomings.
A meeting with either Juan Martin del Potro or Stanislas Wawrinka awaits Murray in the last eight. Murray made hard work of the first set after missing a host of opportunities on the Robredo serve.
An early break point was squandered while he also missed a simple high volley when 40-30 up in the seventh game.
He had four further chances to break in the ninth as the Spaniard struggled with his rhythm on a blustery day in Madrid.
Robredo held on, though, only to falter at 5-5, sending a cross-court forehand wide to hand the Scot an edge he nearly threw away.
Serving for the set, Murray slumped to 15-40 but held his nerve to save the break points and clinch the set 7-5.
The second set was all one-way traffic as Murray stepped up a gear to totally outclass his opponent.
An early break in the third game had Murray in the driving seat while a second break in the fifth – the crucial point coming only after the chair umpire overruled an incorrect call by a line judge – effectively ended the contest.
Two games later Murray brought up his 11th break point and converted the fourth of those with a strong backhand return to progress comfortably into the next round.