Andy Murray will face top seed David Goffin in the last 16 of the Shenzhen Open after his first-round opponent Zhang Zhizhen was forced to retire.
Former world number one Murray has endured a frustrating year after undergoing hip surgery and he is playing at his penultimate event of the season this week, as he plans to bring his campaign to a premature end so he can begin his preparations for a more successful 2019.
The 31-year-old certainly received a stern test of his credentials against world number 340 Zhang, although he was leading the match 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 4-2 when his Chinese opponent was forced to retire.
Murray’s reward for reaching the second round will be a clash with top seed and defending champion Goffin on Thursday and he is looking forward to the challenge of pitting himself against the world number 11.
“It’s a really good test for me right now to play against guys who are in and around the top 10,” Murray said.
“I think he’ll be the highest-ranked player I’ve played since I came back so it’ll be good to see where my game is at.”
Murray has played just 10 matches since returning to the ATP Tour in June, but he has won his five previous meetings with Goffin, most recently when they went head-to-head in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters in 2016.
The Brit is priced at 2.05 to win Thursday’s match, while Goffin is available at 1.67.