BRITAIN’S Andy Murray enjoyed a routine win over Argentina’s Juan Monaco to ease into the third round of the tennis tournament at the Rio Games on Tuesday, while Spain’s world number 12 David Ferrer was knocked out.
Murray, who won singles gold at the London Games, outclassed Monaco 6-3 6-1 in just over an hour and will next face either France’s Benoit Paire or Italy’s Fabio Fognini.
“I played pretty well, hit the ball good from the back of the court, not many unforced errors. It was a good match,” said Murray, who is favourite to take gold after Serbia’s world number one Novak Djokovic was eliminated in the first round.
Earlier, Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy edged 34-year-old Ferrer in three tense sets. Donskoy, ranked 84 in the world, upset former French Open finalist Ferrer 3-6 7-6(1) 7-5.
“In important moments he played more aggressively than me,” said Ferrer, who conceded this may be his last Olympics.
The 2008 Olympic gold medallist Nadal overpowered Italy’s Seppi Andreas 6-3 6-3 despite admitting over the weekend that he was still not fully fit.
In the women’s tournament, Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig collapsed in tears of joy after her shock 6-1 6-1 win over Spain’s French Open champion Garbine Muguruza.
Puig, ranked 34 in the world, said the victory against third seed Muguruza was the biggest win in her career.
“I still have goosebumps,” said Puig, who will play Germany’s Laura Siegemund in the quarter-finals.
Elsewhere, France won its first gold medal of the Rio Games in eventing in a dramatic show jumping final, rising two places from the cross country phase after riders from Australia and New Zealand knocked rails down.
Germany had to settle for silver as their Olympics’ streak of two team titles ended despite an individual gold for German Michael Jung, who repeated his 2012 win with the horse Sam.
Australia took bronze while New Zealand, who were in the running for silver after the cross country, slipped to fourth when seven-time Olympian Mark Todd knocked several rails down.
Greek shooter Anna Korakaki took the gold medal in the women’s 25 metre pistol event, two days after she won a bronze and became the first woman to win a medal in shooting for Greece.
The 20-year-old Korakaki prevailed over Monika Karsch, a 33-year-old from Germany, who mounted a late but ultimately unsuccessful rally after Korakaki established a strong lead. The two are first-time Olympians.
Heidi Diethelm Gerber of Switzerland won the bronze medal, beating world No 1 and world champion Zhang Jingjing of China.
China’s Chen Ruolin and Liu Huixia claimed gold in the women’s synchronised 10 metre platform diving event, with Malaysia and Canada respectively taking the silver and bronze medals as the venue’s pool turned a bright green hue.
Chen, competing in her third summer Olympics, has won every title in the synchronised 10m platform event since 2006.
The triumph also makes Chen a five-time Olympic gold medallist, and puts her on a par with compatriot Wu Minxia for the title of most Olympic diving gold medals in a career.
New Zealand hopes of becoming the first Olympic rugby sevens champions suffered a major setback when they lost their opening match to Japan and Sonny Bill Williams for the tournament to an Achilles injury.
The 14-12 defeat was one of biggest upsets in sevens rugby history and its impact on the All Blacks’ campaign was compounded when Williams was forced off the pitch two minutes into the second half.