Murray, Almagro reach third round in Barcelona

Second seed Andy Murray and Spanish clay-court specialist Nicolas Almagro were among Tuesday's second-round winners at the $2.135 million Barcelona Open.

The three-time Grand Slam runner-up Murray picked up his 20th match win of the year by mauling Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-3, 6-2 in 78 minutes, while a sixth-seeded Almagro got past Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) on the red clay at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona. Almagro was a clay- court champion in Brazil and runner-up in Argentina earlier this season.

Ninth-seeded former Barcelona champ Fernando Verdasco joined Murray and Almagro in the third round by blasting Belgian Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-1 on Day 2. The lefthanded former top-10 star Verdasco titled here two years ago.

In opening-round action involving seeds, No. 13 South African Kevin Anderson defeated Tunisian Malek Jaziri 6-2, 6-3; No. 15 Aussie Bernard Tomic downed Latvian Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 6-4; No. 16 Spaniard Pablo Andujar, who titled in Casablanca two weeks ago, erased Belgian qualifier David Goffin 7-6 (7-2), 6-4; No. 17 Spaniard Albert Ramos, the recent runner-up in Casablanca, dismissed German Andreas Beck 4-1, retired; and Portuguese Frederico Gil easily dispatched No. 12 Spaniard Marcel Granollers 6-2, 6-2.

Additional first-round wins came for Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin, Italian Flavio Cipolla, Romanian Victor Hanescu, Spaniard Guillermo Garcia- Lopez, Colombian qualifier Robert Farah, and Russian Igor Andreev.

This week's top seed is last week's Monte Carlo Masters champion Rafael Nadal, who has won six of the last seven Barcelona titles and topped three- time runner-up David Ferrer in last year's all-Spanish finale here. Ferrer has been the Barcelona runner-up three of the last four years.

Nadal will begin defense of his title against his fellow Spaniard Garcia- Lopez, while Ferrer will face Serbian wild card Filip Krajinovic on Wednesday.

The former No. 1 Nadal dismantled reigning top-ranked star Novak Djokovic in last week's Monte Carlo finale.

This week's big winner will collect $398,000.