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Murray Passes Opening Test; Roddick Cruises

London, England

Roddick © Getty ImagesAndy Roddick is a four-time champion at The Queen's Club.

Third seed and defending champion Andy Murray prevailed in an opening test Tuesday at the AEGON Championships, defeating Spaniard Ivan Navarro 7-6(8), 6-3 to reach the third round at the ATP World Tour 250 grass-court tournament.

Murray faced down two set points against the Spaniard in the first-set tie-break, before converting on his second set point with a backhand winner. He broke Navarro at love to begin the second set and broke his opponent again in the final game, closing out the victory in one hour and 25 minutes.

“Tough first match,” said Murray. “He served very, very well in the first set. I didn't return particularly well. Tricky play, not what you expect from a Spaniard coming forward on every point.”

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World No. 4 Murray is looking to become the first British player to defend the AEGON Championships title since Gordon Lowe in 1914.

Four-time champion Andy Roddick had no problems in his opening match against Russian Igor Kunitsyn, racing to a 6-2, 6-1 victory in 50 minutes. The World No. 7 improved to a 29-4 tournament record as he fired 12 aces and won five of his 12 break point opportunities.

“It's a welcome change always,” said Roddick about the transition to grass. “It's a much more comfortable adjustment for me.  I'm excited to be here.”

Roddick won consecutive AEGON Championships title from 2003-05, and reclaimed the crown in '07. With the exception of his event debut in 2001, the American has reached the semi-finals or better in each of his appearances at The Queen's Club.

Former Wimbledon semi-finalist Rainer Schuettler knocked out sixth seed Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-2 to become the first player to reach the third round. Schuettler, 10-and-a-half years older than his French opponent, is making his tournament debut this week.

The World No. 82 improved to a 4-7 match record on the season with victory in just over two hours. Monfils, a quarter-finalist in 2006, dropped to a 17-10 mark this year.

“Just after the first serve in the match, I start to be more careful and start to be a bit nervous about my movement,” said Monfils. “So for me it's really tough to match. Rainer is moving good on grass. He played really strong tennis to close the match, and then it was a tough surface.”

Fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet fared better in his second-round match, easing past American Rajeev Ram 6-3, 7-5 in just under an hour.

Wild card Grigor Dimitrov won his first match under the guidance of former ATP pro Peter McNamara, when he completed a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Briton's Alex Bogdanovic. The match, carried over from Monday night, resumed with Bogdanovic lead 2-1 in the third set.

"I believe I can be a Top 100 player," said Bogdanovic. "For me, I still have the passion for the game. I'm 26, but I feel like I've got another six, seven years in my tennis career. I don't think I've fulfilled my potential yet. But I need to just do everything I possibly can to fulfill my potential. That is my kind of goal."

American Mardy Fish, who reached the quarter-finals last year (l. to Murray), hit 11 aces past Somdev Devvarman for a 6-1, 6-4 win in just 56 minutes. Fish led by one-set and 3-2 when play resumed on day two.

French qualifier Nicolas Mahut, who squandered one championship point against Andy Roddick in the 2007 final, hit 15 aces to beat Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei in a 7-6(2), 6-4 win in 87 minutes.

Rain showers delayed play earlier in the day, with only three singles matches completed by 3:25 p.m. local time.

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