Andy Murray produced one of his best performances since hip surgery to defeat top seed Jannik Sinner and reach the quarter-finals of the Stockholm Open.
Murray had lost a succession of close matches to top-20 players before defeating then world number 10 Hubert Hurkacz in Vienna a fortnight ago.
Italian Sinner is the same ranking and one of the hottest young prospects in the game but Murray produced a clean and impressive display, breaking his 20-year-old opponent twice in the second set on the way to a 7-6 (4) 6-3 triumph.
Speaking on court, the 34-year-old said: “It was a very tough match. He hits the ball huge from the back of the court so a lot of long rallies and a lot of running but it’s probably my best win this season. I want to keep it going now.”
Murray, who is trialling a new coach this week in Spaniard Esteban Carril, has played a series of long tie-breaks recently but here he took his first set point having saved the only break point of a long opener.
He then broke Sinner, who narrowly missed out on a place in next week’s ATP Finals, to lead 2-1 in the second and maintained the pressure on his young opponent until the finish.
This will be only Murray’s second ATP Tour quarter-final in the last two years and victory over American Tommy Paul would put him through to the last four at this level for the first time since his title in Antwerp in 2019.
The Scot was joined in the quarter-finals by British number two Dan Evans, who returned to winning ways with victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
Evans had lost his first match at his last two tournaments but was in good form against Spaniard Davidovich Fokina, recovering from 4-2 down in the first set to win 7-6 (5) 6-2.
Evans, seeded fourth, will next face American eighth seed Frances Tiafoe, who defeated Pedro Martinez 6-4 6-4.
Murray and Evans could meet in the semi-finals.