Andy Murray will face either Gael Monfils or David Goffin in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters after easing past 13th seed Lucas Pouille in a third-round meeting on Thursday (13 October).
After knocking out Steve Johnson yesterday, the world number two, who recently beat Grigor Dimitrov in the final of the China Open, approached his latest match in typically confident fashion and wrapped up the opening set in a time of just 39 minutes.
French right-hander Pouille, currently ranked at 16 by the ATP, underlined his growing potential by reaching the last-eight stage at both Wimbledon and the US Open earlier this year but the 22-year-old was broken again in the first game of the second set. Any potential route back into the tie was blocked by a total failure to trouble his opponent's serve and he remained a break down until Murray completed a straightforward 6-1, 6-3 victory.
"Those first two games were important," Murray, who won 95% of his first service points, was quoted as saying by Sky Sports afterwards. "The second game I had a few break points before I got him. He's a big-hitter but I felt like I dictated a lot of the points. The second serve has improved a lot. I'm not being attacked so often, so I don't feel like I need to get the first serve in."
While Murray continued his impressive form, fellow British number one Johanna Konta has been forced to withdraw from the Hong Kong Open due to injury. The 25-year-old, who lost her own China Open final to Agnieszka Radwanska, knocked out compatriot Naomi Broady in the first round earlier this week but handed Qiang Wang a walkover after pulling out with an abdominal strain.
Such an issue, the severity of which is not yet known, puts her in danger of being surpassed by Dominika Cibulkova in the race to qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore later this month. Konta currently holds the eighth and last qualifying place, but the 2014 Australian Open finalist now trails by just 10 points and faces Annika Beck in the second round of the Linz Open in Austria later today.
"I was really looking forward to making this week last as long as possible," said a disappointed Konta. "It wasn't as long as I would have liked, but I need to look after my body first. I need to make sure I make the right decisions for my health."
Elsewhere in tennis, Nick Kyrgios has been handed a $16,500 (£13,519, €18,247) fine for breaching the ATP's code of conduct. The controversial Australian was widely criticised on Wednesday (12 October) for his behaviour during a 6-3, 6-1 loss to Mischa Zverev in the second round of the Shanghai Masters.
Kyrgios, who claimed he was tired and a "little bit bored at times" during his earlier win over Sam Querrey, was heard asking the umpire if he could "call time so I can finish this match and go home" after not bothering to even try and return a comically tame serve. He was warned and also argued with a fan over his perceived lack of respect for the game. The ATP's fine relates to a "lack of best efforts", verbal abuse of a spectator and unsportsmanlike conduct.