CINCINNATI: Top-seeds Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray ignored distractions to post victories and move into the third round of the ATP-WTA Cincinnati Masters as the US Open build-up gained momentum.
Top-seed Djokovic had to fight back as his game went awry briefly in the opening set on the way to a second-round win over Argentine Juan Monaco 7-5, 6-2.
Djokovic admitted to a lapse against Monaco, saying, “Between 4-1 and 4-5 were four quite bad games for me. I stopped moving my legs, I didn’t really go for my shots.
“I let him dictate the play and waited for his mistake, which was not the right tactics. It was the first match here in Cincinnati, which has different conditions from what we played [last week] in Montreal.”
Djokovic eventually sorted himself out and will next square off against Belgian qualifier David Goffin, who defeated Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (8/6).
Second-seed Murray meanwhile kick-started the run-up to his US Open title defence with a resounding 6-2, 6-3 defeat of Mikhail Youzhny.
Murray needed just 70 minutes to see off his Russian opponent and move into a match with Julien Benneteau of France.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself to get through this one,” said Murray. “With the US Open only a couple of weeks away, I need to stay in form.”
Argentine seventh-seed Juan Martin del Potro put out Nikolay Davydenko 7-5, 7-5 while American John Isner set up a duel with another big hitter in Montreal, finalist Milos Raonic.
Isner beat French eighth-seed Richard Gasquet 7-6 (8/6), 6-2 while Raonic defeated Janko Tipsarevic 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).
Serena overcomes early jitters to defeat bouchard
Women’s top-seed Serena Williams overcame early jitters similar to those of Djokovic when she lost the first set to Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard before winning 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
The American said she produced the worst shot she can ever remember at one stage in the one hour, 47 minute match.
“I even had an easy approach shot and it went not slightly wide, it was like 50 feet out,” said Serena.
“That was actually embarrassing. I thought I’d never hit a shot like that professionally.”
World number six Errani defeated Polona Hercog 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 while compatriot and 12th-seed Roberta Vinci won a struggle with German Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-3.
Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon winner, beat New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic 6-4, 6-7 (7/9), 6-3, while German ninth-seed Angelique Kerber stopped Alisa Kleybanova 7-6 (7/3), 6-2. Caroline Wozniacki defeated Monica Niculescu 6-4, 6-3.