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Murray Opens Paris Title Quest; Del Potro Maintains Hot Form

Paris, France

Murray© AFP/Getty ImagesAndy Murray improved to 5-0 agianst Paul-Henri Mathieu.

World No. 3 Andy Murray defeated wild card Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-5, 6-3 in the second round of the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris on Wednesday. Murray fired 12 aces to win his opener in one hour and 32 minutes.

“I served well. I didn't start the match off returning particularly well. I was struggling a bit with the timing on that,” assessed Murray. “I think towards the end of the first set, we started to have a few more rallies. But the conditions were fast.”

Murray is playing his first tournament since falling to Novak Djokovic in the Shanghai Rolex Masters final. He is looking to win his first title at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Paris, yet to get past the quarter-finals in his first six appearances. The Scot has won three titles this season, including his first major trophy at the US Open (d. Djokovic) and the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics (d. Federer). The third seed will take on qualifier Jerzy Janowicz next.

Seventh seed Juan Martin del Potro won his 11th straight match, dismissing qualifier Alejandro Falla 6-2, 6-2 in their second-round meeting. Del Potro broke the Colombian six times to advance in 77 minutes.

“I feel tired, but this tournament is so good. It's a big tournament, and I'm ready to do my best like in Basel and Vienna,” said del Potro. “I played really well today. Tomorrow, I have a difficult match against a French guy.”

Del Potro is bidding to lift his third trophy in as many weeks. He beat first-time ATP World Tour finalist Grega Zemlja for the Erste Bank Open title in Vienna and followed it up by denying World No. 1 Roger Federer a sixth crown at the Swiss Indoors Basel last week.

The Argentine, who has qualified for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the first time since 2009, has a 63-14 match record on the season. He will face wild card Michael Llodra in the third round.

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