(Reuters) – Briton Andy Murray powered past top seed and defending champion David Goffin 6-3 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals of the Shenzhen Open on Thursday.
Murray’s victory in 95 minutes was his most impressive performance since returning to the tour after undergoing hip surgery in January.
“I felt like in terms of the way I hit the ball, it was the best I’ve played, and I think I knew that I was going to have to hit the ball very well if I wanted to win,” Murray said.
The 31-year-old former world number one fired 15 aces and converted five out of eight break points to improve his head-to-head record against Goffin to 6-0.
Murray had already announced that he would skip the two Masters series events in Shanghai and Paris next month, opting to end his season in Beijing next week.
But the Scot said he was enjoying playing on Shenzhen’s fast surface in only his 11th match of the season.
“I love the conditions that we play in. Usually it’s humid, and the courts are a little bit faster than what we usually play on the tour,” Murray added.
“The conditions that I like are fast courts with slow balls… I’m able to control the ball well here.”
Up next for Murray is Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, his conqueror in the U.S. Open second round. Verdasco overcame a determined Taro Daniel of Japan 3-6 6-2 7-5.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)