Murray reaches third round of Cincinnati event
CINCINNATI: Andy Murray picked up where he left off at the Rio Olympics with a 6-3, 6-2 defeat of Juan Monaco in the second round of the ATP-WTA Cincinnati Masters on Wednesday.
The top seed and world number-two was back on the court Wednesday just 72 hours after winning the gold medal in the men’s tennis tournament at the Summer Games.
At one point during Wednesday’s match Murray was treated by the trainer for a right shoulder problem.
He next plays South African Kevin Anderson, who beat French 13th seed Richard Gasquet 6-2, 6-4.
“I’ve played a lot of tennis, the balls are also different here,” Murray said. “It’s a quick turnaround and not really much time to adjust from Rio.”
Second seed Stan Wawrinka polished off a two-day victory as he takes aim at a return to the year-end season finals in London.
The Swiss tennis player — the second seed at the last major tune-up prior to the US Open — defeated 122nd-ranked American teenager Jared Donaldson 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The match began Tuesday night but was held up several times due to rain before being postponed late in the evening. Wawrinka now plays Grigor Dimitrov, a winner over 16th seed Feliciano Lopez 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (8/6).
Olympic doubles gold medalist Rafael Nadal defeated Pablo Cuevas, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) while there were also victories for number four Milos Raonic and Japanese number five Kei Nishikori.
“I played a good match against a tough opponent in the first round for sure,” Nadal said.
“After coming from Rio and after the marathon that I had in Rio, it’s very important victory for me. So I’m very happy.”
Raonic hammered a dozen aces, compared to 20 for losing opponent John Isner, as the Canadian beat the American for the first time, 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5). Nishikori stopped Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 6-2.
Sixth seed Tomas Berdych eliminated Spain’s Marcel Granollers 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, seeded seventh, ousted American teenager Reilly Opelka 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/3). Eighth seed Dominic Thiem won his first match since late June at Wimbledon, defeating Australian John Millman 7-5, 6-1.
A furious Nick Kyrgios erupted after losing the opening set to Borna Coric, smashing three racquets in quick succession on his way to a 7-6 (7/2), 4-6, 7-6 (8/6) loss to the Croatian.
In the women’s draw, Olympic silver medalist Angelique Kerber started with a defeat of Kristina Mladenovic 6-0, 7-5.
“It’s good to have a match like this to start the tournament. I know that I have to play better and better in every single round,” she said.
“The next one will not be easier but the first few rounds are always tough to get the rhythm.”
Third seed and 2015 finalist Simona Halep started with a 6-3, 6-1 defeat of Annika Beck.
“I played pretty well today. I felt the game and the balls were a little bit heavier because of the rain and the humidity. But it was good for me,” Halep said.
Spanish fourth seed Garbine Muguruza won her first Cincinnati match with a defeat of Coco Vandeweghe 7-6 (7/4), 6-2. US Open finalist Roberta Vinci stopped Tsvetana Pironkova 7-5, 6-3; seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova rolled past Alison Riske in a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 comeback.
Hungarian Timea Babos upset Swiss 13th seed Belinda Bencic 7-5, 6-2. Bencic is still coming back from a wrist injury that forced her to quit a Wimbledon second-round match.