- Western & Southern Open
Nalbandian books meeting with Murray in Cincinnati
David Nalbandian will provide Andy Murray's opposition in the second round of the Western & Southern Open after a comfortable victory over Kei Nishikori.
Nalbandian, who reached the US Open semi-finals in 2003, was striking the ball cleanly during his first-round clash with Nishikori in Cincinnati, completing a straight sets victory. The Argentinean broke his rival three times for a 6-4 6-4 triumph to seal a date with British No. 1 Murray.
Nishikori can be a dangerous foe on the ATP Tour, but Nalbandian consistently moved the ball from one side of the court to the other, producing winners and forcing errors in equal measure. He can now look forward to facing an out-of-form Murray, who recently departed the Rogers Cup in his opening match.
Another man struggling for rhythm is Andy Roddick, who lost to Philipp Kohlschreiber despite leading by a set and a break in the second. The German eventually hit back to triumph 6-7(5) 7-5 6-1.
Roddick, who won the US Open in 2003, was warned for slamming his racket and handed a point penalty when he smashed the ball into the crowd after a double-fault. "Obviously it's a split second thing," he was quoted as saying by Fox News.
"As soon as I did it I wanted it back. It was a judgment call for [the umpire]. I am pretty sure I saw an eight-year old girl catch it on the way down. He was telling me I hit it as hard as I could. It just sucks."
Former world No. 5 Fernando Verdasco remains on course for a clash with fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal after defeating Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 6-3 7-6(4). Verdasco saved six of seven break points during the contest and, after taking the first set, he edged the tiebreak in the second to move within one match of a showdown against the second seed Nadal.
Nineteen aces helped Feliciano Lopez battle his way past former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero. In an all-Spanish affair, Lopez lost the first set but responded brilliantly to edge the next two and seal a 4-6 6-3 6-4 triumph in just under two hours.
Italian Fabio Fognini produced a shock, breaking four times to dump out 14th seeded Serbian Viktor Troicki. American Robby Ginepri's comeback was short-lived as qualifier Alex Bogomolov Jr booked his place in the next round with a 6-4 6-3 win, while 12th seed Richard Gasquet dispatched Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1 7-6(4).