Andy Murray came up with his biggest win since returning to competitive tennis after beating David Goffin to reach the quarter-finals of the Shenzhen Open.
The former world number one beat the top seed 6-3 6-4 and continues a record of never having lost to the Belgian. It also is a result sure to give Murray heart as he prepares to end the season prematurely.
Murray has committed to playing in Shenzhen and then the China Open before ending his season to continue his rehabilitation from hip surgery. That long-standing injury kept him out since last year’s Wimbledon.
This year he returned in time for the grass court season, playing Queen’s, but decided not to risk playing at the All England Club. He did though make his Grand Slam return at the US Open, beating James Duckworth before losing to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco in round two. He will face Verdasco again in the last eight at the Shenzhen Open after his straight sets win over Goffin.
He broke the Belgian’s serve in the fourth game and though he was broken back, put more pressure on Goffin’s serve before sealing the set with an ace. Murray was getting enough first serves in to continue dominating in the second set and he took a 5-1 lead.
Goffin staged a late rally, pulling it back to 5-4 and having three break points on the Murray serve to level the set.
However he was unable to take advantage and Murray won though to secure the meeting with Verdasco. It is conceivable that there could be an all-British semi-final in China as Cameron Norrie is also through to the last eight. He will play Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka for the right to face either Murray or Verdasco.
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic is 2.50 to win the Australian Open early nest year, Roger Federer is 5.25 with Murray 15.00.