Murray out, Barty & Osaka through to China Open semifinals

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Andy Murray of Britain hits a return during the men's singles quarter-final match against Dominic Thiem of Austria at 2019 China Open tennis tournament in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 4, 2019. (Xinhua/Hou Zhaokang)

The quarterfinals of the China Open wrapped up Friday with most of the top seeds advancing on both men's and women's sides, although there were a few casualties on deck including a previous champion.

In the day's first match on the Diamond Court, world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty came back from one set down to defeat Petra Kvitova 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Kvitova was tighter out of the gate, and the Czech took the first set with a crucial break at 2-2 after some good movement from the baseline and a couple of big returns.

Into the second set, Kvitova looked a step ahead of Barty from the off, though the Australian showed some steely resolve to save five break points to 5-4, before breaking Kvitova with a delightful lob in the set's final game to take things to a decider.

Kvitova again hit back, breaking Barty in the first game before the Australian immediately leveled things up with a break of her own.

Playing tactically smart and efficient tennis, Barty notched another break later in the set as the Czech began to tire, before successfully serving for the match to secure a hard-fought win in just over two hours.

Barty now faces Kiki Bertens, after the Dutch eighth seed defeated No. 3 seed Elina Svitolina 7-6 (6), 6-2.

After a marathon first set that ran for over one hour and saw both players break serve once, Bertens raised her level in the second set, easily besting Svitolina on both service and return and breaking the Ukrainian's serve twice on the way to winning in one hour and 42 minutes.

Elsewhere in the women's draw, the tournament's last unseeded player was knocked out, after Russia's Daria Kasatkina lost 6-3, 7-6 (5) to No. 16 seed Caroline Wozniacki.

Though the Russian saved three match points in the second set tiebreak, Wozniacki had enough in the tank to see her off, and the Dane now moves on to a semifinal clash with number four seed Naomi Osaka, who rebounded from a set down to knock out 5th-seeded Bianca Andreescu 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in the first meeting between the two young rising stars on the WTA tour.

Andreescu was the tighter player out of the gate, breaking her opponent twice on the way to building up a 5-1 lead to serve for the set only to see a series of unforced errors off the forehand side allowing Osaka the space to respond with two breaks of her own to claw to 5-all. The Canadian would pull it together with consistent shooting down the line to get another crucial break and serve out the first set.

Although was Andreescu who drew first blood in the second, going up a break at 2-1, Osaka would eek out an advantage off her stellar forehand, getting two breaks of her own on the way to forcing a decider.

The third set was a well-matched affair. The two traded breaks to go 3-all, but Osaka would go one more up at 5-4 to serve for the match, where the two would fight back and forth at deuce before Osaka sealed the marathon match with an ace to end the two hour, 15 minute encounter.

In the men's draw, Andy Murray's injury-recovery journey here in Beijing ended with a 6-2, 7-6 (3) loss to the tournament's No. 1 seed Dominic Thiem.

After being thoroughly outplayed in a first set where Thiem was noticeably superior on return, Murray raised his level in the second set, breaking the Austrian late on to force a tiebreak.

However, that was as good as it got for the Briton, as Thiem raced into a 4-1 lead before closing out the tiebreak and sealing the win.

Despite his defeat, Murray noted that competing in the China Open had been an important step in his return to form and fitness after a long injury lay-off.

"I wasn't expecting to [start] winning tournaments straight away. Everything has been a pretty gradual progress for me. This week was another step in the right direction," Murray said.

Thiem will play Karen Khatchanov in the semifinal, after the Russian came from a set down to defeat Fabio Fognini of Italy 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Having looked slightly out of sorts in the first set, Khatchanov raised his level in the second and third, serving up six aces on his way to sealing victory in one hour and 48 minutes.

Next up on the Lotus Court, No. 3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated John Isner 7-6 (3), 6-3.

It was a tight match in the opener, but the Greek player scored a crucial break early in the second set and held serve thereafter to see out the win in one hour and 15 minutes.

Tsitsipas will play number two seed Alexander Zverev in the semifinals, after the German overcame a clutch Sam Querry in the first set to prevail 7-6 (3), 6-2.

Querry was inarguably the stronger player in the first set, firing off 11 aces in the opener off 83 percent first service shooting. The two players held their services all the way to a tiebreak, where several netted unforced errors from the American would help Zverev run away with it.

The next outing saw Querry begin to slip. He began coughing up netted unforced errors (24 in all to only seven for Zverev) to hand his opponent a break to go down 2-4, while Zverev kept the pressure up, getting another break to seal up the second set in just 26 minutes.

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