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Djokovic Passes Seppi Test; Murray Makes Strong Start

Cincinnati, U.S.A.

Djokovic© Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic advanced to the third round at Andreas Seppi's expense.

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic came through a testing second-round clash with Andreas Seppi on Wednesday at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, prevailing 7-6(4), 6-2. The Serb had also been tested by Seppi in their last clash in the fourth round at Roland Garros, rallying from two sets down to triumph in five sets.

"I don't think I have done anything special [today]," admitted Djokovic. "Really just trying to put another ball more in the court than my opponent today was enough to win. Obviously not very satisfied with the performance. I will have to play much better than I did today in order to go far."

The 25-year-old Djokovic is coming off his third tour-level title of the season at last week’s Rogers Cup in Toronto, where he defeated Richard Gasquet in the final. He has a 51-9 match record on the season, also taking in victory at the Australian Open (d. Nadal) and the Sony Open Tennis (d. Murray) in Miami.

The Belgrade native is a three-time runner-up at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event, losing out in the 2008 (l. to Murray), 2009 (l. to Federer) and 2011 (l. to Murray) finals.

Djokovic was joined in the third round by third seed Andy Murray, who dismissed in-form American Sam Querrey 6-2, 6-4 in 75 minutes. The Scot countered Querrey’s nine aces with seven of his own and broke serve three times from eight opportunities to advance.

The 24-year-old Querrey had enjoyed a strong start to the North American summer swing, winning his third Los Angeles title (d. Berankis) and reaching the semi-finals in Washington D.C. (l. to Dolgopolov). He dropped to a 24-18 match record on the season.

"He's had some good wins, so I was expecting a tough match," said Murray. "I think that helped me. Was very sharp right at the beginning of the match. I needed to be, and it was a good start to the tournament."

The No. 4-ranked Murray is the defending champion in Cincinnati, having defeated Djokovic in last year’s final; he also won the title in 2008 (d. Djokovic). Two weeks ago, the Dunblane native celebrated the biggest win of his career when he defeated Roger Federer to win the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics. It came just four weeks after he had lost to the Swiss in the Wimbledon final.

"In the immediate aftermath of big wins or good tournaments, normally you'll feel quite confident and comfortable going for your shots in the important moments and even at the beginning of matches," he said. "I'm hoping it helps me not only this week but going into the US Open and big matches in the future. I think it will give me that extra bit of confidence and probably feel a bit calmer going into them."

Murray goes onto face French lucky loser Jeremy Chardy, who built on his upset win over Andy Roddick by dismissing Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 6-4, 6-3 in 83 minutes.

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