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Murray through as Roddick falls

NEW YORK, September 2- Britain's Andy Murray breezed into the second round of the US Open on Wednesday while ninth seed Andy Roddick and Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych made early exits fom the year's last Grand Slam event.
Fourth seed Murray fired eight aces and 37 winners to overwhelm Slovakia’s 71st-ranked Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, in one hour and 51 minutes in the afternoon heat to book a second-round matchup against Jamaican Dustin Brown.

"I feel like I’m playing well," Murray said. "But I need to try and keep that level up if I want to win the tournament."

Serbia’s 44th-ranked Janko Tipsarevic reached the third round of the US Open for the first time in seven tries, firing 66 winners in upsetting 2003 US Open champion Roddick 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).

"He played very high risk and executed for four sets," Roddick said. "I kept telling myself, ‘This has to have an expiration date on it.’ I think I needed another set for that.

"I did what I could. He played well. He deserved to win. Too good."

Czech seventh seed Berdych, whose Wimbledon run and a French Open semi-final appearance had him among the favorites, went 0-for-3 in break points in being humbled by France’s 35th-ranked Michael Llodra 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, 6-4.

"I felt confident. I felt good," Berdych said. "I just didn’t get a chance to play my tennis. I don’t even know if I played well or not. I didn’t even see what to do differently or better. There was no chance to get a rhythm."

Berdych’s removal took out the highest-ranked obstacle to the semi-finals for Murray, who reached his first Grand Slam final at the 2008 US Open, losing to Roger Federer after upsetting world number one Rafael Nadal in a semi-final.

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The 23-year-old Scotsman won his first title of 2010 last month at Toronto, beating top-ranked Rafael Nadal in a semi-final and 16-time Grand Slam winner Federer in the final, showing he has the skill to win a Grand Slam title.

"Toronto was a big boost for me, to win against Roger and Rafa. I feel good," Murray said. "I need to keep that up. I need to play my best."

Roddick, who has struggled with mononucleosis for months, fell behind 5-2 in the tie-breaker and had no answer for Tipsarevic, who connected on 59 percent of his first serves and won 81 percent of those points (58 of 72).

"First serve was huge," Tipsarevic said. "Big first serve percentage helped me win."

Roddick said his recent illness was not a factor.

"I feel fine," Roddick said. "There’s nothing there. I’m not going to talk about it because I lost it. It was frustrating but at the same time I was just trying to make him keep coming up with it. He was able to do it."

Tipsarevic next faces French 17th seed Gael Monfils, who celebrated his 24th birthday by ousting 121st-rated Igor Andreev 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. The Russian, slowed by knee and ankle injuries, had won four of five prior matches against Monfils.

Beating the Frenchman would allow Tipsarevic to match his best Grand Slam showings, fourth-round runs at Wimbledon in 2007 and 2008, the latter after dispatching Roddick in the second round.

Croatian 15th seed Ivan Ljubicic, who has never gone past the third round in 10 prior US Open starts, was eliminated by US teen qualifier Ryan Harrison 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-4, on a steamy day at the Flushing Meadows hardcourts.

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"I struggled with the heat," Ljubicic said. "I can’t move. It gets to me really quick."

Harrison, 18, is the first American teen to beat a men’s top-20 player since the 2001 US Open when Roddick beat Spaniard Alex Corretja, who now serves as a coaching consultant for Murray.

Berdych, enjoying the highest ranking of his career at seventh, has never gone deeper than the fourth round at the US Open.

"I’m not happy I lost first round," Berdych said. "The world is not going to change after this, so I’ll throw it away and keep going."

Brown, who beat Spain’s Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 6-4, 7-6 (8/6), 7-5, already has a plan for Murray.

"I’m going to definitely try and play my type of tennis, be aggressive and keep the points short," Brown said.

US 18th seed John Isner showed no sign of the right ankle injury he suffered two weeks ago, beating Portugal’s Frederico Gil 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.

"It felt great," Isner said. "I took a four- to six-week injury and got it ready in two weeks. I was incredibly fortunate."

US 20th seed Sam Querrey, whose four titles this season rank second only to Nadal’s five, beat US college champion Bradley Klahn 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. He was apologetic for blasting a backhand shot into Klahn’s groin in the second set.

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"It’s not going to get much worse than getting hit right there in front of all the fans," Klahn said.

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