Murray, Nadal reach final 16

Andy Murray of Great Britain returns a shot against Taylor Dent at the U.S. Open on Sunday in New York.
World number two Andy Murray handily beat U.S. wildcard Taylor Dent 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in third-round action at the U.S. Open.

Murray had more than three times as many aces — seven compared with Dent’s two — and half Dent’s unforced errors — 13 compared with 27 Sunday night. The match was a vindication of sorts for Murray, who won his earlier match over former training partner, Chile’s Paul Capdeville, ranked 87 in the world, after losing a second set. In earlier action, third seed Rafael Nadal reached the last 16 after defeating fellow-Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in straight sets. Six-time grand slam winner Nadal, the reigning Australian Open champion, is coming off a two-month lay-off due to knee tendinitis, a break that kept him from defending his 2008 Wimbledon crown. “I just plan to keep on improving my tennis and keep playing this tournament because it’s special to me,” Nadal told reporters after his 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 win. “It’s special motivation when you try to come back and play your best as fast as possible.” Almagro broke Nadal in the second game of the third set and Nadal responded by breaking back to trail 2-1 but then called a trainer to treat a pain in his right abdominal area. “I feel it a little bit sore now but I will try to recover in time for my next match,” Nadal said.

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Nadal returned to hold, break again for a 3-2 edge and served out to win the match after two hours 39 minutes. “It was a difficult match,” Nadal added. “He started with break, I have break back. This kind of match is important to win. I’m happy to be in the fourth round.” Meanwhile, sixth seed Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina beat Daniel Koellerer of Austria 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, and seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame a tie-breaker first set to beat Julien Benneteau of France 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-4. A sore right knee forced French ninth seed Gilles Simon to retire from his third-round match against Juan Carlos Ferrero, the 24th-seeded Spaniard leading 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 1-0 when Simon was forced to call it quits.