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Murray begins strongly in Paris

Andy Murray
Murray will meet Spain's Fernando Verdasco in the next round in Paris

Andy Murray started his Paris Masters campaign with a second-round 6-2 6-4 victory over American Sam Querrey.

The British number one, who had a first-round bye, is bidding to seal a record third straight Masters title after wins in Cincinnati and Madrid.

After losing his opening service game, the Scot won the next six games in a row to take the opening set and went on to secure his place in the third round.

Murray will now face Spain's Fernando Verdasco for a place in the last eight.

Murray went into the event after retaining his St Petersburg Open crown on Sunday and unbeaten since losing to Roger Federer in the US open final.

He made a tentative start as the big-serving American, ranked 41 in the world, looked the more solid.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Jonathan Overend
But Murray quickly got himself back into the match and Querrey was unable to find a way past the Scot who sealed the set with his fifth ace of the game.

After the first four games of the second set went with serve, Murray took advantage of three double faults by Querrey in the fifth game to break and lead 3-2.

But at 4-3 up on his own serve, he was surprisingly broken by Querrey, who went 30-0 up and won the game on his third break point.

Murray played some inspired tennis to break Querrey again and lead 5-4 but he had some anxious moments as he tried to serve out the match before clinching victory on his fourth match point with a deft backhand volley.

If the 21-year-old triumphs in Paris on Sunday he will become the first player to win three successive Masters titles in the same year.

"I enjoyed that one," he said afterwards. "The surface is a bit faster than St Petersburg but I like playing indoors so it suits me."

"I thought it was good, considering I had only really had 40 minutes of practice on that court.

"After that start, I thought I played well, neutralised his biggest strength (Querrey's serve) early on in the match and then got ahead early in the second.

"I was disappointed to lose my serve but again the way I responded was very good."

World number one Rafael Nadal, who Murray could face in the semi-finals is impressed by his form.

The Spaniard, who beat Frenchman Florent Serra 6-2 6-4 in the second round earlier on Wednesday to set up a clash with home favourite Gael Monfils, labelled world number four Murray as the "complete" player.

"He has just proved in these last few months that he can win the big tournaments, whoever is in his way," he said.

"He is a massive talent, with a complete game and both an aggressive shot and a containing shot. He makes it all look so easy."

World number two Roger Federer edged past Sweden's Robin Soderling 6-4 7-6 to advance to a meeting with Marin Cilic.

Federer broke in the third game of the match en route to taking the first set but was forced to save two set points in the tie-break in the second set before his greater skill saw him through 9-7.

Reigning champion David Nalbandian , a possible quarter-final opponent for Murray, progressed with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 victory over Germany's Nicolas Kiefer as he looks to cement his place in next month's Masters Cup in Shanghai.

The end-of-season event is reserved for the eight top-ranked players in the world and Nalbandian's place is under threat from fellow Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro, with the pair facing each other in the last 16 in Paris.

Spain's David Ferrer, ninth in the ATP Race, suffered a 6-3 6-2 defeat by German Philipp Kohlschreiber and will not qualify for the Masters Cup barring forfeits.

Elsewhere, sixth seed Nikolay Davydenko beat Ivan Ljubicic, while 12th seed Stanislas Wawrinka was defeated by the unseeded Czech player Tomas Berdych.

There were also wins for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, James Blake, and Gilles Simon.

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Murray begins strongly in Paris
30 Oct 08 |  Tennis


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