Beijing: Carlos Alcaraz breezed into the China Open men’s quarter-finals with a routine 6-2, 6-2 victory over Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti on Sunday. The world No 2 overpowered Musetti and seized the first set when he forced his opponent to whack a baseline backhand into the net.
The Spaniard then broke serve twice in the second set and saw out a comfortable match with an unreturned serve.
He will face Casper Ruud in the next round after the world number nine came back to beat Argentina’s Tomas Etcheverry 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (9-7).
World No 1 Aryna Sabalenka earlier sailed into the second round of the women’s draw with an imperious 6-1, 6-2 defeat of American Sofia Kenin.
The Belarusian pummelled Kenin with a succession of mighty serves and groundstrokes and wrapped up the opening set with an ace after just 23 minutes.
The 25-year-old broke serve twice more in the second set as Kenin - playing with heavy strapping on her left thigh - failed to muster a response.
Sabalenka sealed the match with yet another unreturned serve to set up a tie against either Magdalena Frech or Katie Boulter in the next round.
“Honestly, I didn’t expect to play that good on my serve - in practice, it didn’t work very well,” Sabalenka said at a post-match news briefing.
“But I was super hyped that I was able to bring that level on my serve today. I think it helped a lot,” she said.
“I think that was the key of today’s match.”
The China Open is taking place for the first time since 2019 after Beijing ended its isolationist zero-Covid policies.
Seven of the men’s top eight are in action, as are all eight of the women’s highest-ranked players.
The women’s tournament is also the first since its global governing body ended a boycott of China this year.
The embargo had been declared after Chinese player Peng Shuai made sexual assault accusations against a top government official.