ANDY Murray is safely through to the last 16 of the Shanghai Rolex Masters after a routine straight sets victory over American Steve Johnson.
The Briton looked comfortable in his first appearance since guiding Great Britain into the Davis Cup final breaking Johnson’s serve twice in the first set – the second break clinching the set 6-2. The American world No 47 managed to hold his serve until the Scot broke it in the final game of the set to take it 6-4 and seal his place in the next round.
Murray will now face 13th seed John Isner who fired down 21 aces on his way to a 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) victory over Belgium’s David Goffin. The 6ft 10ins American did not face a single break point despite the Belgian forcing a tie-break in the second set.
Sixth seed Kei Nishikori came back from a set down to beat Australian Nick Kyrgios 1-6 6-4 6-4 in their second-round clash.
Nishikori, who entered the contest after a first-round bye, looked rusty in the early proceedings as he was broken in his very first service game.
Kyrgios ruthlessly capitalised, racing to a 5-0 lead before serving out for the first set. But the Japanese 25-year-old grew in confidence and took advantage of Kyrgios’ heated exchange with the umpire after a line call at the end of the second set. The final set went with serve until Nishikori broke in the 10th game and he went on to clinch a spot in the last 16.
Australian world No 20 Bernard Tomic capitalised on a lacklustre performance from seventh seed David Ferrer to earn a 6-4 6-2 win. Tomic raced into a 5-0 lead in the first set before Ferrer broke back in the seventh and ninth games. But Tomic managed to serve out the set and go on to progress into the last 16.
Elsewhere US Open quarter-finalist Kevin Anderson booked his place in the third round with 6-3 7-6 (7/1) victory over Italy’s Fabio Fognini.
Top seed Novak Djokovic eased to a 6-2, 6-1 victory against Slovakia’s Martin Klizan but it was a different story for eighth-seeded Rafael Nadal as he had to battle his way to a 7-5 ,6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/4) win over big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic.
Stan Wawrinka, seeded fourth, secured his place in the last 16 with a 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 success against Viktor Troicki of Serbia, with fifth seed Tomas Berdych joining him in the next round after beating American Jack Sock 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-4.
Fellow seeds Milos Raonic, Gilles Simon, Richard Gasquet, Feliciano Lopez are also through after beating Roberto Bautista Agut, Leonardo Mayer, Vasek Pospisil and Dominic Thiem respectively.