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Murray and Sharapova notch quick wins at US Open

By Bill Scott –

NEW YORK — Andy Murray followed the formbook with another easy win as the No. 3 three seed became the first man into the third round of the U.S. Open on Wednesday with 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 thrashing of Ivan Dodig.

Major players have gone through without problems so far at the final major of the season, with Murray imitating the easy victories of top seed Roger Federer and holder Novak Djokovic.

Earlier, women’s third seed Maria Sharapova was even more devastating, hammering Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain 6-0, 6-1.

“I played really well and stayed aggressive,” said the Olympic silver medallist with perhaps some understatement. “Her best results are on clay courts where she has a lot of time.

“I didn’t want to give that to her. I played my game, and opened up the court. Overall I’m pretty happy, and happy to be in the third round again.”

Murray spent just under two hours in going through over Croatian number 118 Dodig, who occasionally slept in train stations and under bridges in his early pro days due to a lack of finance.

Murray is into the Flushing Meadows third round for the seventh straight year.

“I played well. There were a lot of long rallies. He moves incredibly well, very quick around the court. I had to play the extra shot to beat him. I moved my feet well tonight and played well.”

He will now have two days off under the controversial scheduling of the American event, but knows he will by spending hours on the practice court under the eye of coach Ivan Lendl.

Other seeds advanced in first-round play, with fourth-seeded Spanish quiet man David Ferrer earning a 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) defeat of South African Kevin Anderson.

Ferrer is the top Spaniard in the field with the injury absence of Rafael Nadal, but has never generated anything like the headlines that his celebrated compatriot inspires.

But Ferrer still managed to make an impression with a typically fighting win over two and a quarter hours, as he broke Anderson three times while never losing his own serve.

The 30-year-old ironman produced his best career Grand Slam showing at the event five years ago, when he beat Nadal and got all the way to the semis where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

The Spaniard owns 16 career titles and has not lost in the first round of a major since 2005 Wimbledon.

“I feel good. It was not easy match with Anderson,” said Ferrer. “He’s a really good player and has a very strong first and second serve. I’m happy, because I played good in my first round.”

Serbian eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic escaped a scare before he put out Frenchman Guillaume Rufin 4-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

American ninth seed John Isner followed up his Winston-Salem title as he beat Xavier Malisse 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 7-6 (11-9) when the Belgian went into boilover mode, yelling obscenities and likely to get at least an official review of the situation and a possible fine.

French 13th seed Richard Gasquet came back from a slow start to defeat Spain’s Albert Montanes 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.

In women’s second-round play, top seed and world number one Victoria Azarenka reached the third round as she crushed Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 6-2, 6-2 while fifth seed Petra Kvitova beat Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-3 and Chinese ninth seed Na Li dispatched Aussie Casey Dellacqua 6-4, 6-4.

Fifth seed Petra Kvitova did it easy over Alize Cornet of France, 6-4, 6-3 while holder Samantha Stosur crushed Edina Gallovits-Hall 6-3, 6-0.

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