The ATP 250 event in Zhuhai has been the tournament of the seeded players. All seeds that played their second-round matches succeeded, forming a really nice quarterfinal line-up, which missed only an all-British match between the seventh-seeded Andy Murray and the second-seeded Cameron Norrie.
The more experienced Brit played first, and he took on Aslan Karatsev, who had to battle against Italy's Matteo Arnaldi in the first round. The two met last year, when the Russian won in Sydney, but this time around, Murray was in a much better form.
The seventh seed faced four break points already in the fourth game of the first set, but he saved all of them, and managed to break his opponent twice in the next games. Murray then faced three more break points, but even though he couldn't save one, saving the next two in the tenth game was crucial to win the opening set 6-4.
In the next set, the Brit had a break point already in the first game, but after he couldn't use his chance, Karatsev broke first. It was a set of break points and used chances then, and the Russian proved to be more efficient, winning the second set 6-3 and taking the match into the decider.
After losing the challenging second set, Murray couldn't find his A-game in the third set, and it was mostly due to Karatsev's super start. The Russian won 16 of the opening 20 points, building a 4-0 lead.
The former world no. 1 then never recovered as Karatsev cruised towards another three-set win 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2023 Zhuhai Championships, where he may take on the second-seeded Cameron Norrie.