Cincinnati - Andy Murray endorsed the
Tuesday decision of the US Open to award a wild card to Juan Martin del Potro,
who gave the Scot a severe weekend test in the Olympic tennis final.
"You give wild cards to deserving
players," the Rio gold medallist said as he prepared to take his place as
top seed at the ATP-WTA Cincinnati Masters. "Juan Martin deserves to be in
"If he had not been injured (wrist
operations) he'd be comfortably seeded. He deserves that wild card for sure.
"He draws good crowds and will be an
asset to the tournament for sure," he said of Argentina's silver medallist
and 2009 US Open champion.
Double Olympic winner Murray took the
opportunity to lightly scold his fellow players - some of whom skipped the
Olympics due to scheduling problems or perceived fears of the Zika virus.
"Every Olympics I've been to, I've
loved it," said the world number two. "I've had amazing experiences.
"Unfortunately some players did not
see it that way. I hope they regret the decision not to go and hopefully next
time we have a good turnout again - like we had in London (2012).
"Perhaps the event should be just a few
days longer, that would have helped. Fans would have enjoyed watching major
men's players in the mixed doubles, that doesn't happen anywhere else.
"Once every four years it's huge for
tennis to be a part of the Olympics. It's a great event to showcase our sport
to the whole world."
On another rainy day, match play moved at a
A pair of French seeds blew through with
opening victories as number nine Gael Monfils overcame Rio travel fatigue to
dispatch Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-4. His 13th-seeded compatriot Richard
Gasquet, who missed the Games with an abdominal injury, found his form over
countryman Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (7/2), 3-6, 6-1.
There was a win for Belgian 11th seed David
Goffin over Nicoloz Basilashvili 7-5, 6-3 while Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny
schooled US teen Taylor Fritz 6-1, 6-3.
Two Australians advanced: Bernard Tomic
beat Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-3; John Millman had more of a struggle before overcoming
Malek Jaziri 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.
On the women's side, France's Alize Cornet
beat Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 7-6 (7/1), 6-3 while Tsvetana Pironkova defeated
Daria Kasatkina 6-1, 6-1.
First into the third round was Czech 15th
seed Karolina Pliskova, a winner against Latvian Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 6-1.