Novak Djokovic drew level with Jimmy Connors for the second-longest unbeaten record at an ATP Tour event by beating Chinese wild card Zhang Ze 6-2, 6-1 on Thursday to improve to 26-0 at the China Open.
Now, he only trails behind Nadal’s 31-0 start at the French Open from 2005 to 2009.
The tennis ace had already won five titles at the China Open for the past six years excluding 2011 when he did not play in the tournament.
Djokovic said that the conditions in China suits his game as he advances into the quarter finals.
“I feel very pleasant playing on the center court,” he said. “I guess as I keep coming back each year with that positive record, obviously gives me more confidence knowing that I played so well in the past on this court.”
Meanwhile, third seed Rafael Nadal also gets into the quarter finals by beating Vasek Popisil in round two of the China Open.
The 29-year-old Spaniard gave a much-improved performance and won 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 to set up a quarter-final against American Jack Sock on Friday.
“Obviously I improved from yesterday,” said Nadal, who lost serve four times against China’s Wu Di in round one.
“Every victory gives me opportunities to keep practicing the things that I need to practice.”
“Practicing outside of the competition is very important, but at the end you have to compete well. Every match is an opportunity for me.”