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Murray sets up China Open quarterfinal vs. British teammate

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BEIJING — Top-seeded Andy Murray dispatched Andrey Kuznetsov 6-2, 6-1 on Wednesday to set up China Open quarterfinal against his British Davis Cup teammate Kyle Edmund.

Both are playing their first tournaments since Britain’s loss to Argentina in the Davis Cup semifinals last month.

Murray is hoping with a strong run in China to close the gap on No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic, who withdrew from the tournament.

He struggled initially against Kuznetsov, dropping two early service games as the players traded breaks, but went on a dominant run after the fifth game.

Edmund, a qualifier, upset seventh-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Fifth-seeded David Ferrer advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Fabio Fognini and will next play Alexander Zverev, who beat Jack Sock 6-4, 6-2. Ferrer is still chasing his first title of the season. The Spaniard has won at least one ATP title in all but one year since 2006.

Grigor Dmitrov held off Steve Johnson 7-5, 6-7 (9), 6-4 and No. 8-seeded Richard Gasquet beat Sam Querrey 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in first-round matches.

In the women’s second round, top-ranked Angelique Kerber had a 6-3, 7-6 (4) win over Barbora Strycova, U.S. Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova rallied for a tough 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7) win over 19-year-old Daria Kasatkina, Johanna Konta wrapped up a rain-delayed 7-5, 6-2 win over Timea Babos, and Daria Gavrilova ousted 12th-seeded Timea Bacsinszky 4-6, 6-0, 6-4.

Kerber, who twice failed to serve out the match in a tight finish against Strycova, will next play Elina Svitolina for a place in the quarterfinals.

Svitolina beat Sabine Lisicki 6-4, 6-4, and Caroline Garcia fended off Peng Shuai 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (4), ending a tournament for the Chinese wild card that started with an upset first-round win over Venus Williams.

Kasatkina upsets Venus Williams to reach Indian Wells final

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) Daria Kasatkina upset Venus Williams 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a nearly three-hour baseline struggle to reach the final of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday night.

Kasatkina was two points from defeat, trailing 4-5 and 0-30 in the third set when Williams committed four straight errors as the 20-year-old Russian tied it 5-all.

Williams won just two more points as Kasatkina took the last two games to close out the match in 2 hours, 48 minutes. Kasatkina dropped her racket near the baseline and covered her face with her hands as she walked to the net.

After shaking hands, Kasatkina pumped her fists and shook her head slightly as if in disbelief at beating the 37-year-old American and advancing to the biggest final of her young career.

Top-ranked Simona Halep took on Naomi Osaka, a 20-year-old from Japan, in the other semifinal.

After losing the first set, Kasatkina was visited by her coach on court. Philippe Dehaes told her, “She’s 37, you’re 20. Make her work a lot.”

When she wasn’t trading shots from the baseline, a nervy Kasatkina fooled Williams with drop shots, including two that landed just over the net near the sideline. The Russian tossed up lobs over the 6-foot-1 American – some worked, some didn’t, but she was undeterred.

There were 14 service breaks in the match.

Williams rallied from 3-1 down to win the first set. She trailed 3-1 again in the second and tied it 3-all when Kasatkina was broken on a double fault.

Kasatkina won the last four games in a row to take the second set. The players dueled through eight deuces in an epic eighth game, with the Russian turning back six break points against her. Williams pulled a forehand wide to lose the game.

Kasatkina’s coach visited her again before the third set.

“You go for it?” he asked her.

“Sure,” she replied, and they slapped hands.

Williams served a love game to go up 5-4. She led love-30 on Kasatkina’s serve in the next game before her forehand deserted her.

Williams double-faulted twice in a row to drop serve and trail 6-5. Kasatkina won on her second match point when Williams netted a backhand.

Kasatkina now owns a 2-1 record against Williams, who won 10-8 in the third round at Wimbledon in 2016.

Juan Martin del Potro defeated No. 31 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, and Milos Raonic beat 18th-seeded American Sam Querrey 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 to reach the men’s semifinals.

More AP tennis coverage:

Maria Sharapova withdraws from Miami with forearm injury

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the Miami Open that begins next week because of a left forearm injury.

Sharapova announced the decision on Friday. She’ll be replaced in the main draw by American Jennifer Brady.

Sharapova lost in the first round at Indian Wells last week and in the third round of the Australian Open in January. She returned to the tour last year after a 15-month doping ban.

The women’s field includes eight-time Key Biscayne champion Serena Williams and No. 1-ranked Simona Halep. The men’s field includes defending champion Roger Federer and six-time Key Biscayne champ Novak Djokovic.