ATP Beijing: Dominic Thiem sets Andy Murray clash. Fognini, Khachanov win



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ATP Beijing: Dominic Thiem sets Andy Murray clash. Fognini, Khachanov win

The top seed Dominic Thiem is through to the quarter-final in Beijing, defeating Zhizhen Zhang 6-3, 6-3 in 69 minutes. Serving at 71%, the Austrian lost eight points on serve, facing no break points and blasting 20 winners and just eight unforced errors to mount the pressure on the opponent who failed to deliver those numbers.

Struggling to find the first serve, Zhang got broken three times from as many chances offered to Thiem to end his run in the second round. Dominic claimed the last four games of the first set, taking four straight points at 3-3 for a break after a backhand winner and closing the set with another break in game nine after a forehand error from Zhizhen.

Returners had no chances in the first seven games of the second set before the Austrian found a way to grab a break thanks to a forehand mistake from his rival, hitting three winners in the next game and moving over the top with a service winner for the place in the last eight.

The 4th seed Karen Khachanov prevailed against a qualifier Jeremy Chardy 7-6, 7-6 in an hour and 41 minutes in the match with no breaks of serve. The Russian delivered fury from the initial shot, dropping 15 points in total and never experiencing troubles after taking 43 out of 45 points after landing the first serve in.

Chardy stayed in touch all the time, fending off all three break chances he gave to Karen but falling short in both tie breaks to propel the Russian into the quarters. Khachanov lost six points on serve in the first set, settling into an excellent rhythm and keeping the pressure on his rival all the time.

Jeremy repelled two break points in the seventh game with service winners, reaching the tie break that Karen won 7-0 for a massive boost. The French player saved a break point in the sixth game of the second set with a forehand winner, staying neck and neck with the better-ranked opponent until the tie break that proved to be much more interesting than the first one when he moved 5-2 in front with an ace.

Khachanov landed two aces as well to reduce the deficit, leveling the score at 5-5 after a forehand error from Chardy and moving in front following another forehand mistake from his rival. A service winner pushed Karen over the top, rattling off the last five points to seal the deal in straight sets and stay on the title course.

Facing each other for the sixth time, Fabio Fognini took down Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-4 for the fifth victory over the young Russian, fending off ten out of 12 break points and stealing Andrey's serve four times to get the job done in straight sets.

The Italian forced an error at 3-2 to break at love and gain the lead, closing the set with four winners in game nine for a 6-3. A volley winner secured another break for Fabio at the beginning of the second set, erasing four break points in game four before Andrey broke back two games later to level the score at 3-3.

They traded breaks in games seven and eight as well, with Fognini taking another one at 4-4 after forcing an error from the Russian. Serving for the victory, Fabio defended three break chances with winners, firing another one to cross the finish line and reach the last eight.