Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Murray, Nadal advance to China Open 2nd round

Published:Wednesday | October 5, 2016 | 10:00 AM
Andy Murray hits a return shot against Andreas Seppi during their men’s singles at the China Open tennis tournament. Murray won 6-2, 7-5.
Rafael Nadal hits a return shot against Paolo Lorenzi during their men’s singles match at the China Open tennis tournament at the Diamond Court in Beijing yesterday. Nadal won 6-1, 6-1.
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BEIJING (AP):

Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray advanced to the second round of the China Open with straight-set wins in back-to-back matches on centre court yesterday.

Nadal needed little more than an hour to beat Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-1, fending off two break points as he took time to get his serve under control in the first set.

The 2005 China Open champion, seeded second in Beijing, improved his first-service percentage from 42 to 85 in the second set.

Murray defeated Andreas Seppi 6-2, 7-5 in the next match, dropping serve once in the second set.

Murray, who took over the No. 1 seeding when Novak Djokovic withdrew from the tournament, is playing at the China Open for the third time. He reached the quarter-finals in his debut and then the semi-finals.

"I thought I did OK considering I hadn't played much the past couple of weeks," said Murray, who has been struggling with a shoulder injury. "But there was some good stuff in there. With each match, I'll play better, hopefully. No injuries. Felt fine. Just need matches now."

Also, Alexander Zverev eliminated fourth-seeded Dominic Thiem 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, and Jack Sock beat Chinese wild-card entry Zhang Ze 6-3, 7-5 in other men's matches.

On the women's side, Petra Kvitova beat Chinese qualifier Wang Yafan 6-4, 6-1 to reach the third round. The Czech, who last week won the Wuhan Open, will next face defending China Open champion Garbine Muguruza.