Murray sweeps into quarterfinals at Antwerp

ANTWERP, Belgium — Former world No. 1 Andy Murray cruised into the quarterfinals at Antwerp on Thursday with a 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas.

Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, is attempting to work his way back to form almost 10 months after career-saving hip surgery.

The Scot, currently ranked 243rd in the world, held serve throughout against eighth seed Cuevas before sealing victory in 84 minutes.

He will take on Romania's Marius Copil — who hit 13 aces past third seed Diego Schwartzman in a 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (9/7) win — on Friday for a place in the last four.

"I felt a bit better today. I thought I served quite well for most of the match and when I was able to get into the baseline rallies, I felt I was hitting the ball quite clean, which is good," Murray said.

"He served very well, which made it difficult for me to get the breaks, but I thought for me it was a good match."

Italian teenager Jannik Sinner dumped out top seed and 2018 runner-up Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2 to reach his first ATP quarter-final.

Next up for the 18-year-old Sinner is American Frances Tiafoe, a straight-sets winner over seventh-seeded German Jan-Lennard Struff.

"I played a very solid game. He didn't play his best tennis for sure. It's not easy if you make the final the year before and then to come here to play a young player and wild card," world No. 119 Sinner told atptour.com

"I think I played solid today. I served good on the important points and I think that was the key today."

Gender equality in sports

far from realized: King

Nearly 50 years after Billie Jean King and the so-called "Original Nine" began their campaign for equal prize money in Tennis, the 12-times Grand Slam winner said much more progress was needed in gender equity in sport.

"You look at all the years of soccer, of baseball, all these different sports, they didn’t encourage us to go into baseball, they told us to go into softball," King told Reuters. "They wouldn’t let us run the marathon in the Olympics until 1984.

"It just goes on and on and on."

Appearing at a Women's Sports Foundation (WSF) event on Wednesday, where the U.S. women's national soccer team was feted for its on-field performance, King said the squad's lawsuit against its governing body for gender discrimination reflects much-needed progress.

"All we are is a microcosm of society," said King, who founded the WSF. "Women are still so far behind."

Megan Rapinoe, who won the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball with her World Cup champion team in July, told Reuters she hoped a settlement with U.S. Soccer was possible, but that she and her group were prepared for a fight.

US Soccer has repeatedly defended its support for the women's team in the past. — Agencies