MADRID, Oct 15 (Reuters) British number one Andy Murray continued his return to form with a comfortable 6-4 6-1 win over Radek Stepanek in the first round of the Madrid Masters today.
The 20-year-old Scot, who missed over three months of the season with a wrist injury, put the Czech to the sword with the help of an impressive array of passing shots to earn himself a second-round match against 15th-seeded Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela.
Murray, who signalled his return to form by reaching the final in Metz earlier this month, made a sharp start, despite spurning three break points in the second game.
He looked steady on his own serve and after putting Stepanek under heavy pressure he broke in the 10th to take the first set 6-4.
He continued to stretch the Czech around the court in the second and raced his way into a 5-0 lead before closing out the match on his own serve.
Qualifier Robby Ginepri came from a set down to defeat Austria's Jurgen Melzer 2-6 7-6 6-4 today and book himself a daunting match against defending champion Roger Federer.
The 25-year-old American, who lost to Federer in straight sets in the quarter-finals of last year's tournament, battled his way back from a stuttering start to edge the second set on a tie-break and maintain his 100 per cent record against Melzer.
Juan Monaco also recovered from a set down to win through 6-7 6-0 6-4 against Russia's Igor Andreev on his debut in the 2.2 million dollar hard court tournament.
Monaco will now meet 11th-seeded German Tommy Haas in the second round.
Another Argentine, wild card Juan Martin del Potro, wrapped up a high-speed 7-6 6-1 victory over Italy's Potito Starace, while Croatia's Mario Ancic cruised to a 6-4 6-2 win over Marc Giquel of France.
Austrian qualifier Stefan Koubek came through 6-3 3-6 6-4 to claim his first win in three attempts against Jarkko Nieminen of Finland.
REUTERS BJR PM2107