The top seed in Beijing remained on course to reclaim the title he won last year after he defeated Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 2-6, 6-2, while women’s top-ranked player Serena Williams also made it into the Last Eight, beating Maria Kirilenko 7-5, 7-5.
The Serb’s World No 1 status is under attack from the second seed Rafael Nadal, who has already made it to the Last Eight, and only needs to reach the final to claim the top spot.
Djokovic took the first set of his second-round match with relative ease, but his unbeaten run in Beijing stretching back to 2009 looked to be in danger when his Spanish opponent took the second set 6-2.
Sania-Cara in semis
Sania Mirza and her Zimbabwean partner Cara Black breezed into the semi-finals of the women’s doubles event with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Yung-Jan Chan and Jie Zheng.