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Murray and Nadal power into last 16

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Murray beats Dent in three sets
  • Spanish third seed Nadal is through to the last 16 of the U.S. Open
  • Nadal claimed a straight sets win over compatriot Almagro
  • Simon has to retire from his third-round match with Ferrero
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(CNN) -- World number two Andy Murray brushed aside U.S. wildcard Taylor Dent 6-3 6-2 6-2 in third-round action at the U.S. Open.

Nadal celebrates reaching the U.S. Open last 16 with a straight sets win over Nicolas Almagro.

Andy Murray of Great Britain returns a shot against Taylor Dent at the U.S. Open on Sunday in New York.

Murray had more than three times as many aces -- seven compared with Dent's two -- and half Dent's unforced errors -- 13 compared with 27 in the Sunday night clash.

The victory represented an improvement for Murray, who dropped a set against former training partner, Chile's Paul Capdeville, ranked 87 in the world, in winning his previous match at Flushing Meadows.

In earlier action, third seed Rafael Nadal reached the last 16 after defeating fellow-Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in straight sets.

Six-time grand slam winner Nadal, the reigning Australian Open champion, is coming off a two-month lay-off due to knee tendinitis, a break that kept him from defending his 2008 Wimbledon crown.

"I just plan to keep on improving my tennis and keep playing this tournament because it's special to me," Nadal told reporters after his 7-5 6-4 6-4 win. "It's special motivation when you try to come back and play your best as fast as possible."

Almagro broke Nadal in the second game of the third set and Nadal responded by breaking back to trail 2-1 but then called a trainer to treat a pain in his right abdominal area. "I feel it a little bit sore now but I will try to recover in time for my next match," Nadal said.

Nadal returned to hold, break again for a 3-2 edge and served out to win the match after two hours 39 minutes.

"It was a difficult match," Nadal added. "He started with break, I have break back. This kind of match is important to win. I'm happy to be in the fourth round."

Meanwhile, sixth seed Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina beat Daniel Koellerer of Austria 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-3, and seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame a tie-breaker first set to beat Julien Benneteau of France 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 6-4.

A sore right knee forced French ninth seed Gilles Simon to retire from his third-round match against Juan Carlos Ferrero, the 24th-seeded Spaniard leading 1-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 1-0 when Simon was forced to call it quits.

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