- Fourth seed Andy Murray is knocked out of the Rome Masters by Richard Gasquet
- Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal all reach quarterfinals
- World number one Victoria Azarenka pulls out injured in women's event
- Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova and Williams sisters all progress to last eight
Andy Murray's poor form going into the French Open continued as he lost to Richard Gasquet in the third round of the Rome Masters.
After some initial stiff resistance, taking the first set after a tie break, Murray lost the next two 6-3, 6-2.
He later revealed he has been suffering with a back injury all year and is now a doubt to play at Roland Garros.
"(It was a) long match and sore back towards the end, but I was expecting that coming to the tournament," he told the ATP's official website.
"I didn't take a break from training and playing a lot, but the muscles are more tired and fatigued."
He later told AFP that he will have little chance to rest his back in the run up to the French Open.
"I've felt it for some months, but I haven't had a chance to take a pause," he said.
"I've tried not to make it any worse, but the muscles get tired from compensating ... I've got a lot of big events coming and there's not that much time to rest any niggles. Hopefully when the French comes, the goal is to be in peak condition."
Defending champion and top seed Novak Djokovic was given a shock when Juan Monaco of Argentina won the first set of their third-round clash.
The wind was causing the Serb some problems -- so much so that he destroyed his racket after the first set -- before coming back strongly winning the next two sets 6-2 6-3.
"It was difficult to play in the wind, but it was the same for both of us," Djokovic conceded ahead of his quarterfinal against world No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat Madrid semifinalist Juan Martin del Potro 6-4 6-1.
After his problems on the blue clay of Madrid, Rafael Nadal was not in a generous mood beating Spaniard Marcel Granollers 6-1, 6-1.
"Conditions were difficult and windy but I think I found rhythm and after third game I played very solid," Nadal said. He goes on to play Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals.
Madrid champion Roger Federer also reached the last eight, digging deep to beat fellow former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain 6-2 5-7 6-1.
Second-ranked Federer will next face Italy's Andreas Seppi, who beat his Swiss Davis Cup teammate Stanislas Wawrinka 6-7
(1-7) 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (8-6).
The women's draw was rocked by the withdrawal of world number one Victoria Azarenka after she injured her right shoulder.
Second seed Maria Sharapova beat Ana Ivanovic 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 to set up a quarterfinal clash with another fellow former world No. 1 Venus Williams.
The American, who has never played Sharapova on clay before, beat Australia's U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur 6-4 6-3.
Her younger sister Serena, unbeaten on clay in 16 matches this season, will next face Italy's Flavia Pennetta after her 6-3 6-1 win over Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues.
"I've played here for a long time and I've had a lot of memorable matches on Pietrangeli court," the 2002 Rome champion told the WTA's official website.
"Today reminded me of when I was young."
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat Sorana Cirstea 6-2 5-7 6-2, and the Czech fourth seed will play fellow left-hander Angelique Kerber of Germany in the last eight.