Andy Murray won his 600th ATP Tour match to progress to the quarter-finals of the rain-hit Cincinnati Open.
The British No 1 defeated South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-3 6-2 on a day when his fellow seeds made a series of early exits from the tournament.
Murray had to overcome his big-serving opponent after his match in the Ohio city was delayed for more than two hours by a huge storm that left the hardcourts needing to be mopped up.
Top seed Murray again had trouble with a niggling shoulder injury early in the match, being broken to trail 3-2, but just like his opening match against Juan Monaco, the Olympic champion upped his game once he had warmed up.
And a series of breaks of Anderson’s normally-reliable service allowed Murray to extend his winning streak to 20 matches as well as reach the landmark for tour victories.
Murray admitted breaking back straight away in the first set was vital to his victory, as he said: “It was big, obviously.
“When you’re playing against big servers they tend to be front runners, so for me to get the break back immediately was key and it got the momentum back.”
Murray will play Australia’s Bernard Tomic on Friday for a place in the semi-finals with most of his leading competitors having exited the tournament including Kei Nishikori, who Murray might have expected to be playing next.
“He had a good win today against Nishikori,” Murray said. “He’s a talented player. We’ve had some tough matches. He plays with a lot of variety.”
Rafa Nadal and Stan Wawrinka, two of the other headliners at the US Open warm-up event, also went out to Borna Coric and Grigor Dimitrov respectively.