MONTREAL: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal competed on hard courts for the first time in five months, with both reaching the third round of the Montreal Masters.
Second-seed Murray shook off his post-Wimbledon cobwebs with a fighting 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) victory over Marcel Granollers.
The win – his 13th in succession – came just over a month after the Scot made history with the first British Wimbledon men’s singles title since 1936.
Murray’s victory puts him in a match against Latvian Ernests Gulbis, a 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 winner over Italian 13th seed Fabio Fognini.
“I was nervous beforehand, that was a good sign,” said Murray. “I’m pretty ready to move forward and not think too much about Wimbledon and concentrate on the US Open.
“If I’d lost the match, it would have just broken the momentum a little bit. The more matches I can get in the next few weeks, the better.”
French Open champion Nadal, seeded fourth, showed no mercy to Canada’s Jesse Levine in a 6-2, 6-0 win as the Spaniard returned to action for the first time since his shock Wimbledon opening round loss to Steve Darcis six weeks ago.
Nadal saved three break points while breaking Levine five times in 71 minutes on court.
“The knee is not bothering me much,” said Nadal. “In the last couple of days, I was able to practice with no limitation. That is the most important thing.
“After seven weeks without playing tennis, you start a tournament on hard court and that is tougher for the body.
“You always feel a few things at the beginning. But hopefully those things will not limit my chances to play well.”
Nadal takes on Wimbledon semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz, who beat Canada’s Frank Dancevic 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 6-4.
In a rain-interrupted match, third seed David Ferrer lost to Alex Bogomolov 6-2, 6-4 while sixth seed and weekend Washington champion Juan Martin del Potro struggled before finally overcoming Croatian Ivan Dodig 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.
The Argentine winner came from two breaks down in the final set to rescue the match and reach the third round.
Roger Federer pulled out with a back injury.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2013.
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