Tennis: Murray, Nadal make winning returns in Montreal

Andy Murray of Britain hits a return to Marcel Granollers of Spain at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal Aug 7, 2013. Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal stepped on to a hard court for the first time in five months on Wednesday,
Andy Murray of Britain hits a return to Marcel Granollers of Spain at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal Aug 7, 2013. Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal stepped on to a hard court for the first time in five months on Wednesday, with both advancing into the third round of the Montreal Masters. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MONTREAL (AFP) - Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal stepped on to a hard court for the first time in five months on Wednesday, with both advancing into the third round of the Montreal Masters.

Second seed Murray shook off his post-Wimbledon cobwebs with a fighting 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) opening win over Marcel Granollers.

The victory - his 13th in succession - came just over a month since the Scot made history with a first British Wimbledon men's singles title since 1936.

French Open champion Nadal, seeded fourth, showed no mercy to Canada's Jesse Levine in a 6-2, 6-0 win as the Spaniard returned to action for the first time since his shock Wimbledon opening round loss to Steve Darcis six weeks ago.

Nadal saved three break points while breaking Levine five times in 71 minutes on court.

Murray's victory puts him into a contest against colourful Latvian Ernests Gulbis, a 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 winner over Italian 13th seed Fabio Fognini.

"I was pretty nervous beforehand, that was a good sign," said Murray.

"I'm pretty ready to move forward and not think too much about Wimbledon and concentrate on the US Open.

"If I'd lost today, it would have just broken the momentum a little bit.

The more matches I can get in the next few weeks, the better." Murray, who is also the reigning US Open champion, had his teething troubles as he got back into match rhythm against Granollers, who won the Kitzbuhel claycourt title last weekend.

He won the opening set in just under an hour, despite 19 unforced errors to 18 for his opponent.

Murray then fought back from 2-5 down in the second set, saving a set point in the 10th game before finally guaranteeing a tiebreaker.

Trailing 0-2 in the decider, the world number two clicked into gear to run out the winner on the first of four match point as Granollers committed his final unforced error.

Murray, the champion in Canada in 2009 and 2010, now stands 35-5 on the season after beating Granollers for the third time in four ATP-level meetings.

Fifth seed Tomas Berdych beat Alexandre Dolgopolov of the Ukraine 6-3, 6-4 but Swiss eighth seed Stanislas Wawrinka fell to his good friend, and French practice partner, Benoit Paire, 6-2, 7-6 (7/2).

Wawrinka was the only Swiss in the field after Roger Federer pulled out with a back injury.

Canadians began making the most of their home week, with 71st-ranked Vasek Pospisil following up his defeat of John Isner in the first round by putting out Czech Radek Stepanek 6-2, 6-4 in the second.