CINCINNATI, Ohio: Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray overcame some anxious moments to post straight-set victories on Wednesday in their opening matches at the ATP-WTA Cincinnati Masters.
Top seed Djokovic had to fight back after his game went awry briefly in the opening set on the way to a second-round win over Argentine Juan Monaco 7-5, 6-2.
Second-seed Murray kick-started his run-up to his US Open title defense with a resounding 6-2, 6-3 defeat of Mikhail Youzhny in their second round match. Both players received a bye in the first round.
Murray, the world No. 2, who was eliminated a week ago in the Montreal third round, made sure that was not repeated at this hardcourt tournament.
He needed just 70 minutes to see off his Russian opponent and move into a match with Julien Benneteau of France.
Djokovic is trying to complete an unprecedented career haul of all nine Masters 1000 titles and only needs to win here in order to reach the goal.
“I stopped moving my legs, I didn’t really go for my shots,” he said of his play in the first set.
“I let him dictate the play and waited for his mistake, which was not the right tactic. It was the first match here in Cincinnati, which has different conditions from what we played (last week) in Montreal.”
Djokovic eventually sorted himself out and will next square off against Belgian qualifier David Goffin, who defeated Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (8/6).