Nadal advances at slick Cincinnati

Cincinnati: Rafa Nadal urged tournament organisers to make more consistent surfaces for hard court events after easing past American Taylor Dent 6-2, 7-5 to make the third round of the Cincinnati Masters.

The Spanish world number one came back from 4-2 down in the second set to defeat 83rd-ranked Dent but was unhappy that he had to adjust to a much faster court than last week`s surface in Toronto.

"It is something (that) in the future the tournaments can work to make the courts more similar," Nadal told reporters.

"For us it`s difficult to adapt, especially if you only have one or two days. When you get to semi-finals or final it`s not easy to adapt, especially in the beginning of the tournament.”

"So it`s big change. This first match always is very dangerous," he said.

After struggling in the first set, journeyman Dent`s serve improved noticeably in the second and he threatened to make life complicated for the Spaniard when he broke him to take a 4-2 lead.

But Nadal broke twice to go 6-5 up before serving out the match to set up a third-round encounter with Frenchman Julien Benneteau, who defeated Switzerland`s Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets.

Roger Federer went through after his Uzbeki opponent Denis Istomin had to retire with an ankle injury when 5-2 down in the first set.

He was joined by third seed Novak Djokovic and fourth seed Andy Murray as the form book proved a reliable guide despite none of the leading players truly sparkling.

Murray needed three sets to deal with France`s Jeremy Chardy, losing his rhythm after winning the opening set 6-3 as his aggressive opponent mixed 53 unforced errors with 44 winners.

The Scot lost the second set tiebreak 7-3, but won the third 6-2 after the Frenchman took a medical time-out for foot treatment.

Murray agreed that it was tricky to switch to the high-speed court.

"It can be difficult. You don`t have a whole lot of time to get used to the conditions here. They`re very different. The court`s much faster than Toronto and the balls are moving a lot quicker.”

"When you are feeling like that, it`s kind of difficult to really go for your shots a lot. But I knew I had to in the third set, and played a lot better."

Spain`s Fernando Verdasco was the only surprise victim, losing to 36th-ranked American Mardy Fish.

Fish, who has credited his recent surge in form to weight loss, entered the tournament on a wildcard but played some inspired attacking tennis to beat Verdasco in two tiebreaks.

Serbian world number three Novak Djokovic also progressed in straight sets, defeating compatriot Viktor Troicki 6-3, 7-5.

Bureau Report

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