Andy Murray
Andy Murray could face US Open champion Marin Cilic in the last eightGetty Images/Chris Hyde

Andy Murray strolled into the China Open quarter-final with a straight sets win over Pablo Cuevas to continue his pursuit of ATP World Tour Finals qualification.

The British number one will face US Open champion Marin Cilic or Joao Sousa in the last eight after defeating his Uruguayan opponent 6-2 6-2 in Beijing.

The Shenzhen Open champion continued his recent improvement with a dominating display combining impeccable movement with strong groundstrokes as he blew Cuevas' defence apart in a match lasting just 79 minutes.

Performances this week in the Chinese capital, an event worth 500 ranking points to the winner, and at next week's Shanghai Masters will heavily dictate whether Murray will qualify for the season-ending tour finals in London.

Cilic, Murray's potential opponent in the next round, beat him in straight sets in Rotterdam earlier in the year and represents a huge obstacle in the Brit's attempts to reach the O2 Arena.

Elsewhere in the draw, number two seed Rafael Nadal's return from a wrist injury continued with a straight sets win over Peter Gojowczyk.

Nadal, the 14-time grand slam champion, remains on course for a meeting with Novak Djokovic in the final and faces Martin Klizan in the quarter-final after opponent Ernests Gulbis retired when trailing 6-2 3-0.