Rome - Unbeaten Andy Murray has kept his clay-court purple patch alive on
Wednesday, defeating Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-3 to reach the third round of
the Italian Open.
Murray now owns a dominating 10-0 start on the
dirt as he competes at the Foro Italico after making a late decision to
see how his body had held up after his stunning Madrid Open win on
Sunday over Rafael Nadal.
"My legs were a bit tired at the start but they started to feel better after a few games," said Murray. "I played a good match.
(Chardy) has a big serve, it was tough for me. But I hung in, moved
well and didn't give him loads of opportunities. I served well
throughout the match.
"I'm happy with how I adjusted to conditions, I made it difficult for him to win free points.
"I don't know how my body will feel over the next days, but I'll try to spend as much time recovering and resting as possible."
his seeding down to fourth, began his title defence and the quest for a
record eighth Rome trophy as he crushed Turk Marsel Ilhan 6-2, 6-0 in
barely one and a quarter hours.
Third seed Murray is bidding for a
potential pre-Roland Garros trophy hat-trick after winning the first
clay honour of his career in Munich and following up with a huge title
success in Madrid at the expense of Spain's king of clay.
soon-to-be 28-year-old Scot is playing Rome for the tenth straight
edition, now standing a level 9-9 over his career at the venue.
He reached the quarter-finals in 2014, losing to Nadal in three sets.
beat Chardy in 84 minutes with six aces and three breaks of the
Frenchman's serve, leading 6-1 in the series. The seed's victory was his
31st of the season against five defeats.
Japanese fifth seed Kei
Nishikori won his opining test four days after falling in a Madrid
semi-final to Nadal, with Asia's top player defeating Czech Jiri Vesely
7-6 (7/3), 7-5
American John Isner continued to play outside of
his comfort zone, the 16th seed sending over 11 aces in a 7-6 (8/6), 6-4
defeat of Argentine Leonardo Mayer.
Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez accounted for Ukrainian qualifier Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-3.
the women's draw, second seed Simona Halep made up for last week's
surprise opening exit in Madrid, defeating American Alison Riske 6-3,
6-0 for a place in the third round.
Halep said that her physical niggles of last week are no longer an issue.
feel good and I have no pain anymore, just a little bit of contraction
in the back muscle. I can run, I can play, I can do everything," said
the 2014 French Open finalist.
Two seeds lost as Russian Daria
Gavrilova put out seventh seed Ana Ivanovic 5-7, 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (9/7)
barely a month after upsetting Maria Sharapova in an opening round in
Serb Bojana Jovanovski defeated 15th seed Madison Keys 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.