SHANGHAI, China — Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray crashed out in the last 16 of the ATP Zhuhai Championships in China to 63rd-ranked Russian Aslan Karatsev.
Former world number one Murray won the first set before Karatsev fought back to triumph 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The 36-year-old Murray, now 41 in the world, said on the eve of the tournament in southern China that he wanted to end an “up and down” year on a high.
But after beating China’s 668th-ranked Mo Yecong in his opener, Murray wilted in Zhuhai’s heat and humidity.
Norrie defeated Australian qualifier Marc Polmans 6-0, 6-3 in 76 minutes. The British lefty won 90 per cent (26/29) of his first-serve points and did not face a break point en route to victory. The World No. 17 is seeking his second title of the season this week, having triumphed in Rio.
Norrie is currently 15th in the ATP Live Race To Turin. He will need a strong Asian Swing to boost his chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals.
Also in China, at the ATP Chengdu Open, the 10th-ranked Alexander Zverev defeated 106th-ranked Pavel Kotov 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-1.
The top-seeded German faces Miomir Kecmanovic, the seventh seed from Serbia, in the quarter-finals.
China’s Wang Xiyu captured her first WTA Tour title as the world No. 88 powered past Magda Linette 6-0, 6-2 in the final of the Guangzhou Open, the first elite women’s tournament in the country since 2019.
The 22-year-old Wang’s victory marked the fourth time that a Chinese player has been crowned champion in Guangzhou, following Wang Qiang (2018), Zhang Shuai (2013, 2017) and Li Na (2004).
“It was very exciting, and it’s a very emotional moment because in this tournament, every player is really tough,” Wang said. “It’s so difficult to be here on the last day. I’m happy to be here.
“I wanted a title from the first day, even when I started tennis. It was really a dream for me. I think there’s going to be bigger tournaments, tougher matches waiting for me, and I’m just trying my best like I did this week.”
Wang is the third Chinese champion this season after Zhu Lin (Hua Hin) and Zheng Qinwen (Palermo) — the first time since 2006 that the country had enjoyed similar success in singles.
China last hosted a WTA tournament in 2019, before the COVID-19 crisis wreaked havoc on the global sports schedule.
The WTA later suspended its tournaments there after former doubles world No. 1 Peng Shuai said in a now-deleted 2021 social media post that a former Chinese government official sexually assaulted her.
Peng briefly disappeared from public view and later denied making the accusation, sparking an international outcry over her safety.
The WTA was widely praised for suspending tournaments in China but reversed its decision in April.
In a dominant first set, Wang never faced a break point against the Australian Open semifinalist. She broke Linette early in the second set and took 2-0 lead before Linette took a medical timeout and then evened the set 2-2.
But Wang didn’t allow her Polish opponent to stage a comeback and sealed the final in 80 minutes.
At the Zhuhai Championships, Aslan Karatsev reached the quarterfinals by beating former world No. 1 Andy Murray 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The 63rd-ranked ranked Karatsev, looking for his first tour title since Sydney in 2022, will face second-seeded Cameron Norrie for a spot in the semifinals. Norrie beat Australian qualifier Marc Polmans 6-0, 6-3.
At the Chengdu Open, top-seeded Alexander Zverev, Lorenzo Musetti and Grigor Dimitrov all won their second-round matches after receiving a bye in the first round.
Zverev rallied to beat Russian qualifier Pavel Kotov 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-1 and will face Miomir Kecmanovic in the quarterfinals. Kecmanovic beat Corentin Moutet 6-2, 6-4.
The second-seeded Musetti was challenged before beating Australian qualifier Philip Sekulic 7-6 (3), 6-7 (4), 6-0 and advanced to the last eight. Musetti next faces Arthur Rinderknech, who beat Marcos Giron 7-6 (2), 6-4.
The third-seeded Dimitrov defeated Juan Pablo Varillas 6-3, 6-4 to set up a quarter-final match against Australian Christopher O’Connell.