Murray hits the ground running at Masters

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Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray both shrugged off injury concerns to sweep into the third round of the Paris Masters at Bercy Arena here on Wednesday. Djokovic’s participation in the year’s penultimate event, which he won in 2009, had been cast into doubt by the recurrence of a shoulder injury, but he had too much for Croatian Ivan Dodig in a 6-4, 6-3 victory. The world number one succumbed to only his fourth defeat of the season against Kei Nishikori at last week’s Swiss Indoors and he showed signs of rustiness in the first set here, double-faulting twice and producing 10 unforced errors.
A sublime behind-the-back forehand early in the second set proved he was finding his rhythm, however, and he closed out victory to set up an encounter with 15th-seeded compatriot Viktor Troicki. Second seed Murray had to withdraw from the Swiss Indoors with a buttock muscle strain but he showed no ill-effects in a 6-2, 6-4 defeat of France’s Jeremy Chardy. The world number three, who won three consecutive tournaments in Asia last month and is on a 17-match unbeaten streak, now finds his route to the quarter-finals barred by number 13 seed Andy Roddick. Murray has a 7-3 career record against the American, and prevailed in straight sets when they met on the grass in the semi-finals at Queen’s Club in June this year.