Murray is braced for ‘uncomfortable’ clash

Andy Murray takes on fellow Briton Kyle Edmund in Beijing today. Picture: Etienne Oliveau/Getty
Andy Murray takes on fellow Briton Kyle Edmund in Beijing today. Picture: Etienne Oliveau/Getty
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Andy Murray will put his friendship with Davis Cup team-mate Kyle Edmund aside when he aims to secure a place in the last four of the China Open.

World No 2 Murray has continued his return to action this week after suffering a thigh injury when playing alongside Edmund in Great Britain’s Davis Cup semi-final defeat to Argentina in Glasgow last month.

The 29-year-old, who is the top seed at the China Open 
following the withdrawal of Serbian world No 1 Novak Djokovic, coasted through Wednesday’s second-round contest against Russian Andrey Kuznetsov, winning 6-2, 6-1 in one hour and 
16 minutes.

Edmund, 21, defeated Spanish
world No 18 Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, and looks set to move into the world’s top 50 following his run to the last eight.

The two British players have met just once before in competitive action, in the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club earlier this year, where Murray came through 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 on grass.

Murray admits it will be something of an “uncomfortable” build-up to their showdown in Beijing, which has been scheduled as Friday’s third match on the National Tennis Stadium court.

“[On] the day of the match it’s always a little bit uncomfortable because, normally, when you see your friends and stuff in the locker room you have a chat, joke around a bit, but on match days it always tends to be a little bit more serious,” Murray said on the www.atpworldtour.com website.

“Once you get out on the court and start competing, it’s fine. After the match, again, it’s always fine.

“But it is just sort of the couple of hours before when you see each other in the locker room, it can be a little bit uncomfortable.”