By Mark Meadows

MONACO (Reuters) - Andy Murray was booed by the mainly French crowd at the Monte Carlo Masters for using drop shots in his 6-3 6-3 third-round win over France's injured Gilles Simon on Thursday.

Simon twisted his ankle at the start of the second set and had heavy strapping applied before gingerly carrying on.

Murray showed no mercy and after the first drop had a struggling Simon stranded, the Briton regularly used his favorite shot with the boos for the world number four and cheers for Simon intensifying after each attempt.

"I wasn't bothered at all. I was doing what I had to," Murray, who a day ago was saying how the Monte Carlo Country Club was one of the best venues in the world, told reporters.

"Every player on the tour would have done exactly the same thing. I wasn't doing anything wrong. We'll see the reaction tomorrow," he smiled.

Simon backed his opponent saying :"You play to win."

Murray earlier told Sky Sports: "You know you are in the driving seat and you want to put the foot down and finish the match as efficiently as possible. Drop shots were winning me virtually every single point -- I had to keep moving him."

Before Tuesday's second-round win over Radek Stepanek, third seed Murray had not won a match in almost three months since his Australian Open final defeat by Novak Djokovic.

The 23-year-old, whose public image in the past suffered from occasional teenage strops, could face more grief from the crowd when he plays Frederico Gil in the quarter-finals on Friday after the Portuguese beat another Frenchman Gael Monfils.

"I don't know a lot about him (Gil) but I watched his game," Murray added. "He did well in Estoril and can play well on clay, he's proved that by getting to the quarters here this week. I'll have to be on my game tomorrow."

Asked if he could win the tournament featuring world number one Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, Murray added: "Yeah, why not?"

(Editing by Martyn Herman and Pritha Sarkar)