Andy Murray wins in China to set up all-British quarter-final

Andy Murray celebrates defeating Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia at the China Open. Picture: Andy Wong/AP
Andy Murray celebrates defeating Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia at the China Open. Picture: Andy Wong/AP
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Top seed Andy Murray set up an all-British quarter-final against Kyle Edmund at the China Open after he saw off Andrey Kuznetsov 6-2, 6-1 in Beijing, where there was also progress for Johanna Konta in the women’s singles.

World No 2 Murray continued his return to action since suffering a thigh injury playing for Great Britain in the Davis Cup with another composed display to defeat the Russian without too much cause for concern.

After losing his opening service game, Murray recovered quickly with two breaks to lead 3-1.

Although Kuznetsov, the world No 45, rallied again to break back, the Scot remained on the offensive to push home another immediate break chance before closing out the set after 48 minutes with a fourth break.

Murray’s momentum continued into the second set, where two breaks and a hold saw the 29-year-old Briton move 4-1 ahead.

Kuznetsov lost yet another service game to leave Murray on the brink of the last eight, which he secured with a love service game to complete his victory in one hour and 17 minutes.

Earlier, British No 2 Edmund beat Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in three sets. The 21-year-old, who provisionally moved into the top 50 after beating Guiilermo Garcia-Lopez in the first round in China, claimed a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 victory against the world No 18.

A tight contest was settled in game seven of the third set, with qualifier Edmund breaking Bautista and then holding serve to seal another impressive win.

Murray and Edmund, who play in the top-half of the draw tomorrow, have met in competitive action just once, in the Aegon Championships earlier this year, where Murray came through 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

British women’s No 1 Johanna Konta is through to the third round of the WTA China Open after beating Timea Babos in straight sets.

Konta claimed a 7-5, 6-2 victory over the Hungarian to boost her chances of reaching the WTA Finals in Singapore later this month.

The 25-year-old is currently ninth in the race to Singapore with the top eight qualifying for the tournament.

Konta will face Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic for a place in the quarter-finals after she came from behind to defeat Russia’s Daria Kasatkina 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (9/7).