Djokovic, Murray, Nadal win Cincy openers
Mason, OH – World No. 1 superstar Novak Djokovic and two-time champion Andy Murray were easy second-round winners Wednesday at the $3 million Western & Southern Open, a hardcourt ATP Masters 1000 event.
After enjoying an opening-round bye, the four-time runner-up Djokovic got past gritty Argentine Juan Monaco 7-5, 6-2. Djokovic was last year's runner-up to five-time Cincinnati champion Roger Federer.
Up next for Djokovic, an unsuccessful finalist here four of the last five years, will be Belgian qualifier David Goffin.
The second-seeded reigning Wimbledon and U.S. Open titlist Murray cruised past 31-year-old Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny 6-2, 6-3 in 70 minutes at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Murray piled up five breaks of serve, compared to only one for Youzhny on Day 4.
"I had good anticipation so I was able to chase a lot of balls down and today I managed to get a lot of balls back," Murray said.
"It's not necessarily getting to the ball it's putting it in a position where it's difficult for your opponent to hit a winner off and I think I did that well today."
Murray, who titled here in 2008 and 2011, will meet France's Julien Benneteau in the third round on Thursday.
Fresh off last week's Masters title in Montreal, the fourth-seeded Nadal easily advanced with a 6-2, 6-2 drubbing of German Benjamin Becker that took an hour and 17 minutes.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion will take on Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov during Thursday's play.
Sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych also moved on via a 6-3, 6-2 decision over Finland's Jarkko Nieminen, while No. 7 seed Argentine slugger Juan Martin del Potro dismissed Russian Nikolay Davydenko 7-5, 7-5.
The biggest upset of the day came from towering American John Isner, who upended eighth-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet 7-6 (8-6), 6-2. No. 9 seed Stanislas Wawrinka was also ousted in his second-round bout, with the Swiss veteran coming up short against Spaniard Tommy Robredo by a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 score.
The 6-foot-7 former U.S. Open champion del Potro titled in Washington two weeks ago by beating the 6-foot-9 Isner in the all-tall final in D.C.
Eleventh-seeded German Tommy Haas moved on with a 6-4, 6-1 decision against Spaniard Marcel Granollers, while 12th-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic doused former top-10 Serb Janko Tipsarevic 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) on Wednesday. Raonic was last week's Montreal Masters runner-up to Nadal.
Haas' third-round opponent will be the reigning and five-time overall Cincy champion Federer.
Some other second-round results saw Russian qualifier Dmitry Tursunov erase wild card and 2007 Cincy runner-up James Blake of the U.S. 6-4, 6-4, Spanish left-hander Feliciano Lopez get past Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 2-2, retired, and Goffin hold off last week's Montreal semifinalist Vasek Pospisil, of Canada, 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (8-6).
This is the last Masters tournament before the U.S. Open, which will commence August 26 in New York.
The 2013 Cincinnati champ will collect $583,800.