Top seeds Carlos Alcaraz and Aryna Sabalenka both breezed into the next round of the China Open with routine victories on Sunday.
Alcaraz sealed a place in the men’s quarter-finals with a smooth 6-2, 6-2 victory over Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti in Beijing.
The world number two overpowered his opponent and seized the first set when Musetti whacked 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 next face Casper Ruud after the world number nine came back to beat Argentina’s Tomas Etcheverry 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (9-7). “I feel great, honestly. It was a good performance against a really tough opponent,” Alcaraz said at a post-match press briefing. “(My level) didn’t (go) up and down. I stayed at a high level, high quality, during the whole match,” the 20-year-old said.
Earlier, world number one Aryna Sabalenka 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 China Open is taking place for the first time since 2019 after Beijing ended its isolationist zero-Covid policies.
Belarus's Aryna Sabalenka celebrates after beating USA's Sofia Kenin during their women痴 singles match of the WTA China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on October 1, 2023. (AFP)