Andy Murray powers past Pouille in Shanghai

Andy Murray hits a return shot against Lucas Pouille in Shanghai. Murray won 6-1, 6-3. Picture: Andy Wong/AP
Andy Murray hits a return shot against Lucas Pouille in Shanghai. Murray won 6-1, 6-3. Picture: Andy Wong/AP
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British No 1 Andy Murray continued his impressive form with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Lucas Pouille of France to secure a place in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

The world No 2, who won the China Open last week, had coasted past American Steve Johnson on Wednesday, and 13th seed Pouille was also given little opportunity.

Pouille was broken in his first two services game as Murray, producing a range of attacking winners from across the baseline, raced into a 5-0 lead before closing out the first set in 40 minutes.

Murray continued his momentum into the second set, breaking world 
No 16 Pouille in the first game to open up a 3-1 advantage.

Pouille, beaten by Murray at the Rome Masters, finally began to find his range as the set continued with serve.

Murray, however, remained on the offensive himself as he closed in on victory at 5-3.

The 29-year-old Scot missed a couple of match points on Pouille’s next service game, before rifling a return down the line to secure a comfortable victory.

Next up for Murray will be either sixth seed Gael Monfils of France or the 11th-seeded Belgian David Goffin, who played in last night’s late match.

Murray was happy he could produce another impressive display, having won 95 per cent of his first service points.

Murray said on Sky Sports: “Once I got ahead, I did feel like I played a good match. I moved well.

“He is a big hitter of the ball, but I felt I was able to dictate a lot of the points and when I was defending I came up with some good shots.”

On his potential quarter-final, the British No 1 added: “I have not played Monfils for quite a long time, but I grew up with him in the juniors... both of them move really well and have played really well this year. It will be a tough match for me and I will need to play well.”

Meanwhile, British No 2 Heather Watson lost her second-round match against Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-3 at the Hong Kong Open.

Watson, the world No 75, converted three of her four break points but had her own serve broken six times as she lost in one hour and 27 minutes to the fifth seed.

The Briton had opened up a 2-0 lead following an early break in the first set.

However, a double fault then cost Watson her next service game before former world No 1 Wozniacki broke again to lead 3-2.

The Dane went on to close out the first set in 35 minutes following another break.

Wozniacki continued her momentum into the second set, closing out victory in one hour and 27 minutes.

British No 1 Johanna Konta pulled out of her second-round match against Qiang Wang of China because of an abdominal strain, which could jeopardise her hopes of making the season-ending WTA Finals.

Konta, currently ranked nine in the world, could be overtaken on the Road to Singapore leaderboard should Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova go on to reach the final of the Generali Ladies Linz.