Day before meeting with ATP, Murray advances in Madrid

Updated: October 15, 2007, 5:04 PM ET
Associated Press

MADRID, Spain -- Andy Murray pressured Radek Stepanek into early errors before pulling away for a 6-4, 6-1 win Monday on the opening day of the Madrid Masters.

Andy Murray
JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty ImagesAndy Murray reacts during his opening win at the Madrid Masters.

Murray's groundstrokes forced Stepanek into 32 unforced errors, and the 17th-ranked Briton hit 14 winners, three of them with his forehand as Stepanek crowded the net. He will next face 15th-seeded Juan Ignacio Chela.

"[That's] one of the best matches I've played, not since I've been back from injury [but] since I've been on the Tour," said Murray, who missed three months with a wrist injury.

The Scotsman will be meeting with the ATP on Tuesday to discuss comments he made about gambling in tennis last week that have led officials to call in experts in an effort to keep the sport free of match-fixing.

Murray backed off his earlier claims that fixed matches were common knowledge. He said most had heard about the three or four players who refused to be paid to lose matches.

"As soon as I got here, I got to speak to the players and told them what happened," Murray said. "Everyone understands what I meant. I'm glad it's been kind of cleared up."

Earlier, American qualifier Robby Ginepri beat Jurgen Melzer 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4.

Ginepri committed more unforced errors (44-35), won fewer service breaks (2-3) and hit less winners (24-29), but still managed to overcome the Austrian with the big shot when he needed it.

The 72nd-ranked Ginepri will play defending champion Roger Federer, who beat the American in last year's quarterfinals before ultimately winning in three sets over Fernando Gonzalez for his first title in Spain.

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Juan Monaco rallied to beat Igor Andreev of Russia 6-7 (5), 6-0, 6-4. The Argentine will next play the 11th-seeded Tommy Haas.

Argentine wild card Juan Martin Del Potro broke Potito Starace of Italy four times to win 7-5, 6-1, and Austrian qualifier Stefan Koubek beat Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

Mario Ancic beat Marc Gicquel of France 6-4, 6-2 and will next play the sixth-seeded James Blake.

Feliciano Lopez beat Filippo Volandri of Italy 6-3, 6-2, and Fernando Verdasco cruised past fellow Spaniard Albert Montanes 6-1, 6-1.

There are still four places for next month's Masters Cup in Shanghai up for grabs with less than 100 points separating No. 7 through No. 23 in the points standings. Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Nikolay Davydenko have already qualified.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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