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Murray into Cincinnati quarters

Andy Murray
Murray is seeking back-to-back titles after winning in Montreal last week

World number two Andy Murray eased into the last eight of the Cincinnati Masters with a win over Radek Stepanek.

He came through 6-4 6-1 against the 16th-seeded Czech to set up a match against unseeded Julien Benneteau.

The result also sees Murray join Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in clinching his place at the ATP World Tour Finals being played in London in November.

Murray reached the last four of the 2008 tournament when it was held in Shanghai but lost to Nikolay Davydenko.

Against Stepanek, Murray let an early lead slip but took the first set and dominated the second as he kept up the fine form that saw him win in Montreal last week and secure a career-high world ranking of number two.

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The Scot broke serve at the first opportunity and eased 5-2 ahead as he dealt comfortably with the Czech's attacking game.

A poor service game allowed Stepanek back into the set but Murray responded immediately to take it in game 10 and swept through the second set.

"I played one bad game on my serve at 5-3 in the first set," said Murray. "I was up 30-0 then missed maybe five first serves in a row and let him back into the match.

Murray happy at form yet remains focused

"I hit him with a couple of big returns in the next game to break him. It's so windy out here. We couldn't seem to put the ball away and it's swirling so I'm just happy I managed to win pretty quickly.

"I just need to keep the run going as long as possible because sometimes it's tough to get your confidence really high.

"I've been playing well so far and will try to keep it going tomorrow."

Federer fought back from a break down in the final set to beat David Ferrer 3-6 6-3 6-4, while Nadal eased past Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-5 6-2.

Nadal, the number two seed despite having dropped to three in the world rankings, faces Tomas Berdych in the last eight after the Czech beat Chris Guccione 6-3 6-2.

Top-seed Federer goes on to face old rival Lleyton Hewitt after the Australian beat Sam Querrey 6-1 2-6 6-3.

"It was a tough match," said Federer. "The conditions were really difficult with the swirling wind. David made my life hard, but I fought really well. I'm happy to have another match tomorrow."

Fourth seed Novak Djokovic defeated France's Jeremy Chardy 7-5 6-3, although only after furiously smashing his racquet when dropping serve midway through the second set.



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see also
Murray starts well in Cincinnati
20 Aug 09 |  Tennis
Hewitt rallies to beat Soderling
19 Aug 09 |  Tennis
Murray targets number one ranking
18 Aug 09 |  Tennis
Almagro win sets up Murray clash
18 Aug 09 |  Tennis
Murray battles to Montreal title
16 Aug 09 |  Tennis


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