ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — David Ferrer and Andy Murray, the top two seeded players in the Mexican Open, advanced to the second round on Tuesday while American and third-seeded John Isner became the first major casualty of the tournament, losing 7-6 (4) 7-6 (5) to Croatia's Ivo Karlovic.
Ferrer, the favorite in Acapulco, had a convincing 6-2, 6-3 victory over Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin while Murray overcame a sluggish start and claimed a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 win over Pablo Andujar, from Spain.
"I had a difficult start, it was 10 minutes in the match and I was down 5-0, but I started to play more aggressively to get the win and hopefully I can have a good week here", Murray said. "The first set was extremely challenging, he was dictating the points, but later on he was getting tired and put the pressure on him".
Murray, who played for the first time ever in Latin America, lost his first three service games and fell into a 5-0 hole, but came back strongly to set up a match against Joao Sousa of Portugal.
"I played Joao once in Australia, he was new on the tour then and he has improved. He's playing good tennis, he's good on clay and on hard courts", added Murray. "He plays similar to Pablo, hopefully I can play aggressively from the start."
In the round-of-16, Ferrer, who is trying to win on Mexican soil for the fourth time in his career, will play Spanish compatriot Feliciano Lopez.
"I*m not thinking about the final, I'm only in the second round", Ferrer said. "Now I'm only thinking about playing my best tennis against Feliciano Lopez, he*s a good player I need to give my best to beat him".
Ferrer, who now has a 4-0 record against Kukushkin, is coming off an impressive run in the past two weeks of the ATP tour, winning the Buenos Aires tournament and reaching the semifinals in Rio de Janeiro last week.