• Murray braces for Madrid action

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    Andy Murray AFP PHOTO

    Andy Murray AFP PHOTO

    MADRID: Andy Murray was working on Tuesday to make a one-day turnaround from slow, heavy conditions in Munich to the high-altitude, faster-bouncing clay of the Spanish capital in order to be ready for an opening challenge at the Madrid Masters.

    The third-ranked Scot arrived after winning his first clay title in Munich in a delayed Monday final, but was facing a race against time to adjust to the totally different courts of Madrid’s Caja Magica.

    “(Winning on Munich clay) is obviously a positive for me, it was a goal that I had for this year,” said Murray, who can boast of only a trio of quarter-final placings since Madrid changed to clay in 2009.

    Murray beat German Philipp Kohlschreiber in the three-hour German final and could run into his opponent in the second round on Wednesday should Kohlschreiber defeat qualifier Alejandro Fall in the first round.

    In first-round play, tenth seed Grigor Dimitrov advanced when Donald Young retired trailing 6-4, 3-0.

    The seeded French pair of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils advanced comfortably, with number 12 Tsonga beating Lukas Rosol 7-5, 6-3 and 13th-seeded Gael Monfils crushing Viktor Troicki 6-2, 6-0.

    Estoril finalist Nick Kyrgios beat Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-2, 6-3 to set up a match with top seed Roger Federer.

    In women’s matches at the ATP-WTA tournament, holder Maria Sharapova beat Mariana Duque 6-1, 6-2 and began moving into position for a possible return to the number two rankings she lost through a second-round Stuttgart exit last month.

    The Russian needs to reach the Madrid final to replace Simon Halep on second after the Romanian was sent out in the first round at the weekend.

    But five-time Grand Slam winner Sharapova is not concerned with the details.

    “I face the ranking questions every single week obviously because ranking is a big part of the sport. It’s not my main purpose and my main goal.

    “If I’m not ready to beat someone towards the later stage of a tournament, then I’m not ready to beat them from the very beginning. My goal is to win championships.”

    Petra Kvitova, the 2011 champion and fourth seed, advanced to the third round over American CoCo Vandeweghe 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

    Victoria Azarenka, losing finalist to the Czech here four years ago, beat Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia 6-3, 6-3.

    That victory moved the former number one into a confrontation with top seed Serena Williams, with the challenger having won two of their last five matches dating to early 2013.

    Ana Ivanovic, seeded seventh, beat Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-4 while 14th seed Karolina Pliskova and number 15 Sara Errani both lost.

    AFP

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