Federer, Murray Charge to Decisive Cincinnati Wins

Cincinnati (Ohio), Aug 20:
Roger Federer and Andy Murray led an all-star field Wednesday at the Cincinnati Masters with wins into the third round as Rafael Nadal aimed to join his rivals with an opening victory on the fast hard-court.

Top seed Federer, revelling in his new role as father of twins, burst out of the blocks to claim his fifth victory against Argentine Jose Acasuso 6-3, 7-5.

Federer said he got up to speed quickly on the extremely fast courts at the Midwest venue.

"I was happy today because I know the transition to Cincy is always a difficult one," said the 15-time Grand Slam champion, a two-time finalist.

"I've had very up and down results here. It just showed sort of how hard it is to get used to kind of courts. We don't usually play on these fast courts. That's why I'm very happy with today's match."

The win lifted Federer's record to 43-7 on the season as he chases his fourth title of 2009 after winning the French Open and Wimbledon in recent weeks.

The winner in 69 minutes produced 14 aces and saved the only break point he faced.

Murray was untroubled by a passing shower, returning to the court after 25 minutes to complete a 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 win over Nicolas Almagro.

Murray's defeat in 85 minutes of the Spaniard sends him into a match with Czech Radek Stepanek, who inflicted a final career disappointment on retiring Russian Marat Safin 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

"(Almagro) has a very big serve," Murray said.

"He served well in the first set. After the rain interruption, I didn't change much in my game. I was just getting more accustomed to the fast court. I only had an hour of training on Tuesday."

Murray described looming opponent Stepanek as "a tricky player."

Nadal, competing in his second event since returning from two months of rest for his damaged knees, was facing Italian Andreas Seppi in the second round after a bye.

Seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who defeated Federer five days ago in the Montreal quarter-finals, was dispatched under a barrage of 20 aces by Aussie qualifier Chris Guccione.

Fourth seed Novak Djokovic, last year's losing finalist to Andy Murray, beat Croatian veteran Ivan Ljubicic 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

France's Paul-Henri Mathieu beat Croatian Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (11-9), 6-4 to eliminate one of the biggest servers in the game at the second-round stage.

Czech Tomas Berdych beat Germany's Philipp Petzschner 7-6 (10-8), 6-7 (7-9), 6-4 in more than two and a half hours.


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Title: Federer, Murray Charge to Decisive Cincinnati Wins

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