Andy Murray has advanced to the third round of the Cincinnati Masters with a comfortable 6-2, 6-3 win over Mikhail Youzhny.
Compared to last week in Montreal, this was an altogether sharper Murray. He played very solid and efficient tennis throughout, breaking Youzhny a total of five times and only conceding serve once.
Youzhny made an inauspicious start to the match, serving up two double faults and dropping serve with a netted backhand. Taking advantage of the Russian’s increasingly error-prone tennis, Murray raced to a double break advantage.
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The world number 25 displayed more proactive, aggressive tennis in the next game, earning himself a break point opportunity but Murray held serve with good play including a well-struck forehand down the line followed by a smash.
Murray claimed the first set with strong serving; a 128 MPH ace brought up a set point, which he converted with another impressive delivery.
The world number 2 was able to put pressure on the Russian straight away in the second set, breaking serve after an excellent crosscourt backhand return forced a sliced backhand approach which slipped over the baseline.
With Youzhny serving at 1-3, Murray gained another chance to break after Youzhny hit his sixth double fault of the match. As the Russian’s forehand fell wide of the tramlines, the world number 2 broke again.
Although Youzhny broke back in the next game, his fightback was shortlived. Murray broke again as the Russian served to stay in the match, claiming a comfortable victory in one hour and ten minutes.
Murray will play Frenchman Julien Benneteau in the third round, who yesterday beat Radek Stepanek in three sets.