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Murray makes light work of Hanescu

FOURTH-SEEDED Andy Murray started slowly before easing past Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-3, 6-2 yesterday to reach the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters and stay on course for a first career quarterfinal on clay.

The British player twice dropped serve early to trail 2-1 in the opening set, but took the next four games for a commanding lead.

He broke Hanescu, a French Open quarterfinalist in 2005, in the seventh game of the second set to take a 5-2 lead, and then converted his fourth match point when the Romanian hit a forehand return into the net.

Murray, who lost to Roger Federer in the US Open final last year, next takes on the winner between 14th-seeded Marin Cilic and Fabio Fognini of Italy. If he wins that, he will reach a clay-court quarterfinal for the first time in his career.

"It takes time, I never played that well on clay especially in the last couple of years," Murray said. "I played solid and he made some mistakes. I was happy with the way I played for my first match on clay this year."

Also in the second round, sixth-seeded Gilles Simon lost 7-5, 6-1 to Andreas Beck of Germany.

Simon, who twice beat Federer last year, said the loss to a qualifier was the worst he could recall.

"I don't remember ever playing so badly. Nothing was right. Nothing was working. My forehand, my backhand, my serve, nothing," Simon said. "I played so bad today that I couldn't have beaten anyone."

In later second-round matches, third-seeded Novak Djokovic was playing Oscar Hernandez and the 11th-seeded Tommy Robredo took on Juan Monaco.

In first-round matches, No. 12 David Nalbandian of Argentina beat Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, and Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia upset ninth-seeded Gael Monfils of France 6-3, 6-1, taking little more than one hour to beat the French Open semifinalist.

Monfils, who pushed Federer to four sets at Roland Garros last year, struggled badly on second serve and was broken five times.

The Serb will next meet Simone Bolelli of Italy.

Fognini progressed after coming back from a set and a break down in the third to win 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.

On the women's tour, American Vania King produced a first round upset in the Family Circle Cup on Monday, by knocking out 14th seed Olga Govortsova 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5), 6-3 at Charleston, South Carolina.

China's Peng Shuai advanced to the second round with a comfortable 6-0, 6-2 win over Russia's Anastasia Pivovarova.

Peng, the 10th seed, will face the winner of the tie between Uzbekistan's Akgul Amanmuradova and American Alexandra Stevenson.

France's Virginie Razzano, the 13th seed, also cruised to a straight sets 6-1, 6-2 victory over American Mallory Cecil, while 11th seed Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine disposed of Luxembourg's Anne Kremer 6-4, 6-0.

American Julie Ditty beat Japan's Ayumi Morita 6-1, 6-1.


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