Murray downs Fish in Cincinnati

Andy Murray secured his spot in the third round of the Western & Southern Open despite serving up a below-par performance in his clash with Mardy Fish.

The third seed struggled on serve and with the timing of his ground-strokes, but was able to edge out Fish 6-4, 7-6 (1), in an hour and 45 minutes.

Neither man was at their best in a clash that was delayed by a number of hours due to rain in Cincinnati. When play did get underway both players secured two breaks apiece only to relinquish them in the following game, before Murray capitalised on his first set point to secure the decisive third break and with it the set 6-4.

Fish would not go quietly though, and claimed the first break of serve in the second set. However, as was the case in the first set, on each of the two occasions that Murray was broken, he broke back immediately. After Fish surrendered his serve when serving for the set, Murray eased through the resulting tiebreak 7-1 to wrap up the match.

The world number two will face Grigor Dimitrov in the third round.

Eighth seed Rafael Nadal had a much more straightforward time of it, downing Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4. Nadal saved all nine break points that he faced on his way to victory in an hour and 26 minutes.

Chardy looked up for a battle before Nadal secured the first break in the fourth game, and the Frenchman had his chances to break back when Nadal served for the set, but he squandered two break point opportunities as Nadal served out the set 6-3.

Chardy was once again left to rue his failure to capitalise on the chances afforded to him, when he let six break point chances slip by him in an epic 19-point second game of the second set.

Nadal would not make the same mistake, and broke to go 3-2 up. The Spaniard had chances to wrap up the match with a second break, but Chardy held firm to force him to serve out the match, and he did so, claiming the victory on his fifth match point.

Nadal and Murray had been forced to wait a number of ours before getting out on court after rain and lightening had delayed play. 

Among those to complete their work for the day before the inclement weather arrived were top seed Novak Djokovic who defeated Benoit Paire 7-5, 6-2, and fifth seed Stan Wawrinka who accounted for Borna Coric in three sets.

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