Murray and Nadal reach 3rd round at Paris Masters
PARIS (AP) Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal both advanced to the third round of the Paris Masters on Wednesday, each winning in straight sets.
The second-seeded Murray beat 18-year-old Croat Borna Coric 6-1, 6-2, while the seventh-seeded Nadal defeated Czech qualifier Lukas Rosol 6-2, 6-2.
Murray won 84 percent of his first-serve points and broke Coric twice in each set. Coric, regarded as one of the rising stars of tennis, beat Murray 6-1, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Championships in February.
''I lost to him quickly last time and today it was very different,'' Murray said. ''I hit the ball well and I was able to defend, too, which is a pretty important part of my game.''
Murray will next play 16th-seeded David Goffin of Belgium, who beat Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 6-2, 6-2. Murray and Goffin will also face each other later this month in the Davis Cup final.
''Goffin's very solid, for the last 18 months he's been extremely consistent,'' Murray said. ''He's got good hands and he's quick around the court.''
Nadal was in trouble when he played Rosol in the first round of the Swiss Indoors last week, with the Czech winning the first set 6-1 and serving for victory at 5-4.
There was no drama this time. Nadal broke Rosol in the second game and held for 3-0 after saving a break point - the only one he faced in the match.
''I played a solid match,'' Nadal said. ''Not many mistakes.''
He clinched the first set when Rosol's wild, two-handed backhand sailed wide, and then eaned the victory on his second match point when Rosol's forehand went wide.
Nadal, who lost to Roger Federer in the Swiss Indoors final on Sunday, will next play either 11th-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa or Dominic Thiem of Austria.
The 29-year-old Nadal has been blighted by a dramatic loss of form this year, dropping to 10th in the rankings last June.
''A lot of time this year, I was not able to fight the way that I wanted,'' he said. ''I was not able to try to find solutions on court because I was a little bit blocked mentally.''
But he has since improved to a No. 6 ranking and reached his 98th final last week, having lost to top-ranked Novak Djokovic in Beijing last month.
''For me, the big improvement and big confidence is when I am able to find solutions again,'' he said. ''When I am able to think what I can do to change the dynamic.''
The 14-time Grand Slam champion thinks he is close to rediscovering his best form.
''The thing that I need to keep improving is obviously the serve,'' he said. ''I am returning much better. That's a very important thing for me.''
No. 5 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, No. 6 Kei Nishikori of Japan, No. 10 Richard Gasquet of France, No. 13 John Isner of the United States and Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria also advanced.