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Murray First Into Third Round; Del Potro Advances

New York, U.S.A.

Gasquet © AFP/Getty ImagesRichard Gasquet defeated Albert Montanes in his opener.

Third seed Andy Murray became the first player to reach the third round of the 2012 US Open after dismissing Croatian Ivan Dodig 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 Wednesday night on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Dodig had recorded his biggest career win over a No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal last year in Montreal, but was unable to duplicate his performance against the British No. 1. Murray quickly seized control of the match with a break in the third game and proceeded to break Dodig five more times for the one hour, 51-minute victory.

"I thought I played well," said Murray. "It was a lot of long rallies. He moves incredibly well; he’s very, very quick around the court and you always need to play an extra shot against him. I moved my feet really well tonight and played well."

Murray is chasing his first Grand Slam title after losing in his first four final appearances, including the 2008 US Open and this year’s Championships at Wimbledon (l. to Federer both times). He will meet a Spaniard in his next match, either No. 30 seed Feliciano Lopez or Pablo Andujar.

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Earlier Wednesday, 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro opened with a 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-4 win over French lucky loser Florent Serra. The No. 7 seed won 85 per cent of his first serve points and broke Serra twice for the two hour, 34-minute victory. Serra had stepped in as a replacement for Argentine David Nalbandian, who withdrew with an intercostal muscle strain.

"He played really well," said del Potro. "He served well in important moments, but I think I played much better in important moments than him - basically in the tie-break, in the second set, and in the end of the match. Was a really close match, but I feel good."

Del Potro, 23, improves to a 49-13 season record. He reached the Cincinnati semi-finals on the eve of the US Open (l. to Djokovic) and also claimed the bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics earlier this month (d. Djokovic).

He will next play American Ryan Harrison, who defeated German Benjamin Becker 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 in his first-round match. The 20-year-old Harrison will be looking to advance beyond the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

"If things go my way, then I know I can return well enough to where I can put some pressure on him," said Harrison. "I play good defense, so with some of his shot making, I can make him hit a couple extra balls on some of his service games. It's not going to be easy, but I think I have the game to do it."

Frenchman Richard Gasquet, the No. 13 seed, secured his place in the second round by defeating Spaniard Albert Montanes 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3. He was broken twice in the opening set, but did not face another break point on serve the rest of the match.

The 26 year old finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic a few weeks ago at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, knocking out World No. 7 Tomas Berdych and Americans Mardy Fish and John Isner en route to the final.

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