Time seemed to be of the essence in Dubai today, as Andy Murray wasted little of it in overcoming the Portuguese player Joao Sousa at the last-sixteen stage in straight sets. The confident Scot had only recently beaten his latest opponent during his run to the final at the Australian Open, and also 'boasted' an unbeaten record in previous encounters, so was clearly in no mood to hang around. He also maintained his record of never losing a set to the world ranked 50 player, with a dominant 6-0 6-2 victory.

Murray had also beaten Gilles Muller in the previous round in straight sets, but this was a step up in form for the Scottish player as he needed just 57 minutes to move into the quarter-finals at the Dubai Championships.

The two-time Grand Slam winner is looking to at least match his progress from three years ago at the tournament, when he last graced the event and reached the final. He was untroubled today, as the man at the other side of the net made far too many unforced errors during the match, 38 in all, to hand the initiative to the Brit far too easily. Sousa tried to remain positive, but those previous defeats would probably have been playing on his mind

After blitzing through the first set in just 21 minutes, clinching it with a trademark ace, and breaking his opponent's service each time he faced it, there was at least slightly more spirit and resilience demonstrated by Sousa in the second set. That was despite dropping his serve again in the early stages of the set, which in truth probably ended the match as a contest, although he did at least avoid the humiliation of being double-bagelled by taking two games.

Murray can expect a sterner examination in the last-eight, where he will face either the dangerous Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus or Croatia's Borna Coric, who was a lucky loser at the event. Baghdatis is rounding into good form, having beaten David Goffin of Belgium, the number eight seed in the first round.

With Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych and the evergreen Roger Federer all safely through to the second round as well, it promises to be an exciting climax to the event at the weekend.