Murray through in Cincinnati

  • Last Updated: August 14 2014, 8:33 BST

Andy Murray reached the last 16 of the Western & Southern Open after shrugging off humid conditions in Cincinnati to beat Joao Sousa.

Andy Murray: Cruised into the last 16
Andy Murray: Cruised into the last 16

The world number nine, whose Wimbledon title defence ended at the quarter-final stage, encountered a major obstacle on his road to redemption when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga dumped him out of the ATP Rogers Cup last week.

But the Scot took that setback in his stride and, despite playing in 63 per cent humidity at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, made light work of Portugal's Sousa, winning 6-3 6-3 in little over an hour.

Murray won the three opening games in less than 10 minutes but Sousa - the world number 37 - finally held after the advantage changed hands numerous times during the fourth game.

There was an exchange of games before Sousa broke Murray for the first time, yet the Scot was not for turning and wrapped up the first set before 40 minutes lit up on the scoreboard.

Although Sousa frustrated Murray at 2-1 in the second set and eked out two more games, the former Wimbledon champion was in cruise control despite the Cincinnati heat and breezed to victory.

He will next play John Isner, who was a 6-3 7-6 (7/1) winner against Marinko Matosevic

Murray told Sky Sports 3: "I got the win and that's the most important thing.

"It's very different conditions here this week and a lot of the guys are struggling to control the ball, so I was happy to come through.

"(Sousa) is a tough player. He makes a lot of balls and he fights hard so it's a good start."

Murray might have been joined by fellow Briton James Ward in the last 16, but it was not to be.

The English qualifier, who had shocked Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the second round, fell to France's Julien Benneteau in straight sets and missed out on the chance to face Jerzy Janowicz.

Ward's serve let him down against world number 41 Benneteau, who needed just one hour and four minutes on the hard outdoor court to win 6-2 6-2.

Roger Federer's quest for a sixth Western & Southern Open got off to an unconvincing start as he needed three sets to get past Vasek Pospisil.

The Swiss, who had a first-round bye, needed a tie-break to take the first set but then dropped the second against his Canadian opponent before prevailing 7-6 (7/4) 5-7 6-2 to move into the last-16.

Tomas Berdych suffered an early exit as the fourth seed was upset by world number 43 Yen-Hsun Lu.

The Czech took the first set and appeared to be on his way to victory but Lu struck back and took the match 3-6 6-3 6-4.

David Ferrer set up a last-16 clash with Mikhail Youzhny but he needed three tie-breaks to win an epic tussle against Philipp Kohlschreiber.

The German took the first set but the sixth seed is made of stern stuff and battled back to win 6-7 (4/7) 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (7/4).

Youzhny had a far easier time of it as he beat Andreas Seppi 6-3 6-4.

Grigor Dimitrov suffered a surprise exit as he lost 6-4 3-6 6-3 to Jerzy Janowicz while Tommy Robredo beat Sam Querrey 6-2 6-4, Fabio Fognini was a 6-1 6-4 winner over Lleyton Hewitt and Marin Cilic overcame Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (8/6) 7-6 (7/5).