BEIJING (AP) — Top-seeded Andy Murray dispatched Andrey Kuznetsov 6–2, 6–1 on Wednesday to set up China Open quarterfinal against his British Davis Cup teammate Kyle Edmund.
Both are playing their first tournaments since Britain’s loss to Argentina in the Davis Cup semifinals last month.
Murray is hoping with a strong run in China to close the gap on No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic, who withdrew from the tournament.
He struggled initially against Kuznetsov, dropping two early service games as the players traded breaks, but went on a dominant run after the fifth game.
Edmund, a qualifier, upset seventh-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 6–4, 4–6, 6–4.
Fifth-seeded David Ferrer advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6–3, 6–4 win over Fabio Fognini and will next play Alexander Zverev, who beat Jack Sock 6–4, 6–2. Ferrer is still chasing his first title of the season. The Spaniard has won at least one ATP title in all but one year since 2006.
Grigor Dmitrov held off Steve Johnson 7–5, 6–7 (9), 6–4 and No. 8 Richard Gasquet beat Sam Querrey 2–6, 6–3, 6–2 in first-round matches.
In the women’s second round, top-ranked Angelique Kerber had a 6–3, 7–6 (4) win over Barbora Strycova, U.S. Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova rallied for a tough 3–6, 7–5, 7–6 (7) win over 19-year-old Daria Kasatkina, Johanna Konta wrapped up a rain-delayed 7–5, 6–2 win over Timea Babos, and Daria Gavrilova ousted 12th-seeded Timea Bacsinszky 4–6, 6–0, 6–4.
Kerber, who twice failed to serve out the match in a tight finish against Strycova, will next play Elina Svitolina for a place in the quarterfinals.
Svitolina beat Sabine Lisicki 6–4, 6–4, and Caroline Garcia fended off Peng Shuai 6–3, 2–6, 7–6 (4), ending a tournament for the Chinese wild card that started with an upset first-round win over Venus Williams.