- Western & Southern Open
Murray brushes Youzhny aside
Andy Murray got his U.S. Open preparations back on track with a comfortable 6-2 6-3 victory over Mikhail Youzhny in the second round of the Western & Southern Open.
Murray, preparing to mount the first Grand Slam title defence of his career in New York, rarely looked in danger against Youzhny, moving well and hitting fluently as he cruised through the first set in under 40 minutes.
He went up a double break in the second set to establish his dominance but Youzhny broke back for 4-2, and followed it up with a comfortable hold to put Murray, the world No. 2, back under pressure.
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But Murray held to love for 5-3 before breaking again to seal a straight sets victory in one hour and nine minutes and book his place in the third round, where he will face Julien Benneteau for a spot in the quarter-finals.
Having defeated Novak Djokovic in the 2008 and 2011 finals, Murray is looking for a third crown in Cincinnati.
"It was an important match for me to get through, I need as many as I can get before the U.S. Open," said Murray, coming off a third-round loss in Montreal last week. "I was nervous before the start but I didn't make too many mistakes. The court suits my game more here, I moved about comfortably.
"It will be a tough match against Benneteau. I played him on this court a few years ago (in 2009). I was down a set and a break but managed to come back. He's a very tough player, solid all round. He doesn't have one major weapon in his game but he has no major weaknesses either. He's caused upsets before and pushed the top guys very close on a number of occasions.
"I would've liked to have hit a few more winners. I came to the net a few times and missed a couple of volleys, but got myself in good positions. I wasn't going for huge shots, just playing high-percentage tennis to try to get the win. I'll have to play more aggressively and try and hit more winners as the matches go on. For today's match I'm happy though."
Djokovic, the world No. 1, saw off Juan Monaco 7-5 6-2 while Tommy Haas set up a meeting with Roger Federer after a 6-4 6-1 win over Marcel Granollers. Juan Martin del Potro claimed a 7-5 7-5 victory over Nikolay Davydenko.