SHANGHAI — Top seeds Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic cruised into the third round of the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday as defending champion Andy Murray progressed without even picking up a racquet.
As the tournament kicked into life with the introduction of the big guns, America's Sam Querrey sent Kei Nishikori tumbling 2-6 6-1 6-4 just days after his opponent became the first Japanese player to win the Japan Open.
Swiss world No.1 Federer, battling to cling on to his top ranking, beat Taiwanese qualifier Lu Yen-hsun 6-3 7-5 to set up a clash with fellow countryman Stanislas Wawrinka.
Federer's build-up to the Shanghai tournament was clouded by a death threat from a blogger in China, but the Internet user, in a fresh posting on the popular baidu.com site, later apologised. He remained at large.
Djokovic, who will regain the world No.1 ranking if he wins the title and Federer loses before the quarter-finals, dismissed Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 6-2 in just 54 minutes. "Very pleased with my serving in Beijing and obviously the first match today," said the second seed, who lost just five of his service points.
"So that's something that I've been working on, obviously."
The Serbian will next play Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, who beat German 16th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-4.
US Open champion Murray did not even have to take to the court as Germany's Florian Mayer withdrew with a rib injury, giving the Scot a walkover.
"I'll practise again. You never know whether it's a good or a bad thing ... you're obviously prepared to play the match," said third seed Murray, who next faces Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine.
Japan's Nishikori, suffering from an ankle problem, was brought down to earth with a bump after his title win despite a strong start against Querrey, who won five straight games from 4-1 down in the decider to seal the match.