BEVERLEY’S Kyle Edmund faded as British rival Andy Murray enjoyed a 7-6 (11/9) 6-2 victory over him in the quarter-finals of the China Open.
World No 2 Murray edged a tight first set in a tie-break and trailed 2-0 early in the second, but reeled off six games in a row to set up a semi-final clash with Spain’s David Ferrer.
The 29-year-old, who is the top seed in Beijing following the withdrawal of world No 2 Novak Djokovic, had coasted through his second-round contest against Russian Andrey Kuznetsov, dropping just three games in a match lasting 76 minutes.
But he needed almost as long simply to win the first set against compatriot Edmund, who looked well worthy of his move into the world’s top 50 for the first time in his career when the rankings are updated on Monday.
Murray won 100 per cent of points behind his first serve in the first set but was unable to convert his only break - and set - point in the 10th game, Edmund producing an excellent forehand winner with his opponent at the net.
Edmund then surged into a 5-2 lead in the tie-break but was unable to find the killer blow before Murray finally won it 11-9 with another powerful first serve.
After saving a break point in the first game of the second set, Edmund was gifted a 2-0 lead thanks to a double fault from Murray, but failed to consolidate the break despite being 40-15 ahead on his serve.
And although he had to save three break points in the seventh game, Murray was in no mood to take his foot off the gas and broke Edmund twice more to seal his place in the last four.
In the women’s draw, British No 1 Johanna Konta advanced to the semi-finals after fighting back in remarkable fashion from 4-0 down in the first set to clinch victory over home favourite Zhang Shuai.
Konta, the world No 14, bounced back emphatically from her slow start, winning the next 12 games in a row for a 6-4 6-0 triumph.
The 25-year-old 11th seed is aiming to force her way into contention for the WTA Finals in Singapore later this month and she certainly looked to be on a mission against Zhang, ranked 36 in the world.
Play was briefly held up on set point in the first as a spectator made their way back to their seat, and there subsequently appeared to be some concern over the pressure of the balls being used.
But there was little stopping Konta, who will now meet American Madison Keys in the last four.
Eighth seed Keys earlier beat 14th-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-7 (2/7) 7-6 (7/5).