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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Federer battles to win, Murray eases through

Federer battles to win, Murray eases through

March 15, 2010 11:18 IST

Three-times champion Roger Federer survived a second-set wobble to beat Romania's Victor Hanescu 6-3, 6-7, 6-1 in the second round of the Indian Wells ATP tournament on Sunday.

While the Swiss world number one had to work harder than expected in his first match back since winning the Australian Open in January, Britain's Andy Murray shook off a bit of rust to outclass Italian Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-4.

In other matches, sixth seed Swede Robin Soderling crushed Evgeny Korolev of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-4 while Australian Open semi-finalist and ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France hammered Australian Marinko Matosevic 6-1, 6-3.

Federer, bidding for a record fourth title at Indian Wells, appeared to be on track for a clinical victory when he broke Hanescu in the second game before winning the opening set in 30 minutes.

However, the 16-times grand slam champion was surprisingly broken in the sixth game of the second when the Romanian struck a backhand return winner down the line.

Although Federer fought back to 6-6, he fell behind 0-3 in the tiebreak, which Hansecu won 7-5 to level the match when the Swiss hit a backhand long.

Normal order was restored in the third set, though, as Federer broke his opponent in the second and sixth games to seal victory.

Murray, although not at his very best, broke Seppi in the seventh game of the second set when the Italian pushed a backhand volley wide before wrapping up the win in 86 minutes.


The fourth-seeded Scot ended the match with a crunching forehand winner down the line on a sunny, breezy afternoon in the California desert and he will next meet American Michael Russell.

"It was a pretty scrappy match today," Murray, 22, told reporters after competing for the first time on the ATP Tour since losing in the second round of last month's Dubai Championships.

"There wasn't a particular point where I felt in a lot of trouble but it's just because you've not played for a while. It was pretty breezy on the court and it's sometimes quite difficult to get into a rhythm.

"Obviously I started the year well in Australia and you remember the feelings you had there," said Murray, who was beaten by Federer in the Australian Open final.

"You're not necessarily hitting the ball as well as you were, as well as you have been in practice. I don't know if it's tension. You're just a bit surprised, maybe.

"But, saying that, when you haven't played for a long time, you have to expect not to play your best the first match out. I'm sure next round out I'll feel fine," he added.

Earlier, Spaniard Nicolas Almagro upset 23rd-seeded Croatian Ivo Karlovic 7-5, 7-6 and Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis eased past Frenchman Arnaud Clement 7-6, 6-1.

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