Nadal, Murray advance with solid wins in Miami
Miami - Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray made competent starts at the Miami masters with the Spanish top seed producing a crushing 6-2, 6-2 win over Teimuraz Gabashvili on Saturday.
Nadal claimed his 22nd victory of the season against just two losses in the rout of the Russian. He was joined as a winner by sixth seed Juan Del Potro, who beat Argentine Marcello Vassallo Arguello by a similar score.
Murray took a set to get adjusted to the baseline backboard game of Juan Monaco before emerging from his first meeting with the Argentine a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 winner.
The fourth seed from Britain, losing finalist last weekend at Indian Wells to Rafael Nadal, had his troubles in the first set as 59th-ranked Monaco got everything back and broke Murray twice in the process.
But once Murray settled in, his big game got the best of the situation, moving him into the third round after a bye with 33 winners in two hour, 14 minutes.
"I don't tend to think the match is finished, you know, when you lose the first set," he said. "But I knew it was going to be tricky. He was playing very well and I was struggling a little bit to get into a rhythm.
"But the only thing that matters really is winning. I was really happy with the way I served, that was just the key. i could have lost today."
Murray now stands 5-3 in Miami, his off-season training base where he spent a month working on fitness last December with his team.
"I don't think it makes a huge outcome in the matches," he said of sleeping in his own bed. "It's nice, away from the court, just to be able to sort of go back to your own place and just relax and not have to stay in hotels.
"You can get away from the tennis a little bit more than normal."
Murray is an impressive 21-2 this season with titles already earned at Doha and Rotterdam, where he beat Nadal.
Two Spanish seeds moved through, as number 8 Australian Open semi- finalist Fernando Verdasco beat German Benjamin Becker 6-3, 6-4 and number 11 David Ferrer overcame American John Isner 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
Serb Viktor Troicki toppled 14th seed David Nalbandian as the Argentine's patchy form produced a second opening-match loss in the past three tournaments.
Women's top seed Serena Williams played her first match in nearly a month, moving through 6-2, 6-3 over fellow American Alexa Glatch.
Sister Venus joined in 6-3, 6-3 over Shahar Peer.
Both Williams sisters were back on court after skipping this month's other big event in Indian Wells, where the pair claim racial discrimination due to crowd jeers nearly a decade ago.
The 2001 incident still burns brightly for the Williams sisters, who have vowed never to return to the California desert despite losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in various sanctions from the WTA.
The Florida-based pair are in their element in Miami, where Serena has won five titles including the last two editions. Venus lifted the trophy in 1998, 1999 and 2001.
"I think I played okay, but I definitely could have played better," said Williams. "I had a few little jitters going out there."
Both Williams sisters play a sparse schedule by choice in defiance of WTA regulations to try and impose consistency on the top 10.
Russian ninth seed Nadia Petrova beat Michaella Krajicek 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, while Polish 10th-seed Agnieszwa Radwanska advanced over Thai veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. (dpa)