Sony Open Day Five
Nadal Tops Hewitt, Wawrinka Wins; Serena, Sharapova Advance, Ivanovic Stops Pennetta
atpworldtour.com: March 22 2014 Miami, Florida - Sony Open Tennis top seed Rafael Nadal opened his campaign for a maiden Miami crown on Saturday evening with a 6-1, 6-3 win over three-time semi-finalist Lleyton Hewitt.
Nadal was playing in his first match since losing to Alexandr Dolgopolov in the BNP Paribas Open third round two weeks ago. On Saturday evening, the World No. 1 wore down the baseline game of his Australian opponent, winning in 69 minutes. The Spaniard's victory sets up a third-round meeting against Denis Istomin, who beat 29th seed Dmitry Tursunov 6-7(8), 6-0, 6-3 in just over two hours.
Stanislas Wawrinka bounced back from last week’s BNP Paribas Open fourth round exit to Kevin Anderson with a 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Daniel Gimeno-Traver, in the second round. It was Wawrinka's 14th win in 15 matches this year, highlighted by his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. Roger-Vasselin converted his third match point opportunity against No. 25 seed Marin Cilic for a 6-2, 7-6(5) victory. Cilic, like Roger Federer, has compiled 20 match wins this year.
Alexander Dolgopolov, 22nd seed in Miami, advanced to the third round with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Jarkko Nieminen in 72 minutes. Dolgopolov reached his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final in Indian Wells (l. to Federer) last week, beating top seed Rafael Nadal en route. The Ukrainian next faces Serbian lucky loser Dusan Lajovic, who beat Yen-Hsun Lu 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-3. Lajovic replaced Tommy Haas in the draw after the German withdrew from the tournament with a right shoulder injury.
John Isner maintained his strong run of form on home soil with a 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 comeback victory over countryman Donald Young at the Sony Open Tennis on Saturday. The No. 10 seeded American rallied from an early deficit to seal the second round win in just under two hours. Isner will look to advance to the Round of 16 for the second time (2011) when he battles No. 18 seed Nicolas Almagro on Monday. Almagro sent Isner’s Davis Cup compatriot Sam Querrey packing after a 6-4, 6-4 defeat in 67 minutes.
Serena Battles Past Garcia; Sharapova Outlasts Safarova
wtatennis.com: With stars like Kelly Rowland watching from the stands, Serena Williams fittingly put on a survival show at the Sony Open Tennis, winning a marathon against an inspired Caroline Garcia.
The match was neck-and-neck from the beginning - Williams won a hard-fought 38-minute first set, 6-4, and the two players were on serve through the first nine games of the second set, with a tie-break seemingly looming as Williams served at 4-5, winning the first point of that game to go up 15-0.
That's when Garcia pounced - four straight points and the 52-minute second set was hers, 6-4. The Frenchwoman extended her streak to six points in a row by building a 30-0 lead in the opening game of the third frame, but the No.1-seeded Williams got back on track right away, breaking in that game and then continuing to fight through some uncharacteristic errors to close it out, 64 46 64.
Maria Sharapova regrouped after missing two match points in the second set tie-break to beat Lucie Safarova in three sets in the third round of the Sony Open Tennis on Saturday. It looked like a lock for Sharapova as she won a routine first set, 6-4, and battled back from 1-4 to take the second set to a tie-break and get herself two match points - one at 6-5, one at 7-6.
But Safarova fought them both off and snuck out the tie-break, pushing the match into a deciding third set. But that deciding third set was all Sharapova - the No.4-seeded Russian broke early and never really looked back, eventually beating the No.26-seeded Czech after two hours and 56 minutes, 64 67(7) 62.
There's something to be said about form, but there's something even bigger to be said about head-to-head - Ana Ivanovic proved that in the third round of the Sony Open Tennis on Saturday, improving to 5-0 lifetime against Flavia Pennetta, who had just won the BNP Paribas Open. Pennetta, who won by far her biggest WTA title at Indian Wells, which was also a Premier Mandatory, came out strong - she broke in the first game and eventually led 3-1 - but the No.12-seeded Ivanovic roared back from there, winning 11 of the next 15 games to beat the No.20-seeded Italian, 64 63.
Ivanovic has now won all five of the pair's career meetings - four of the five in straight sets. Next for Ivanovic is No.8 seed Petra Kvitova, who beat Croatian qualifier Donna Vekic, 63 64. Kvitova served up 10 aces and won 74% of first serve points and an impressive 73% of second serve points.
Miami Men's Singles Second Round Saturday Mar 22
1-Rafael Nadal beat Lleyton Hewitt 6-1 6-3
Benjamin Becker beat Ryan Harrison 7-5 3-6 7-6(2)
14-Fabio Fognini beat Lukas Lacko 6-4 6-4
10-John Isner beat Donald Young 6-7(5) 6-3 6-4
Aljaz Bedene beat 27-Vasek Pospisil 6-7(5) 7-5 6-3
18-Nicolas Almagro beat Sam Querrey 6-4 6-4
Joao Sousa beat 26-Gilles Simon 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3
22-Alexandr Dolgopolov beat Jarkko Nieminen 6-4 6-2
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez beat 23-Gael Monfils 6-2 7-5
Roberto Bautista beat 19-Jerzy Janowicz 6-4 6-1
7-Tomas Berdych beat Stephane Robert 7-6(5) 6-1
Edouard Roger-Vasselin beat 25-Marin Cilic 6-2 7-6(5)
3-Stanislas Wawrinka beat Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-0 3-6 6-3
Miami Women's Singles Third Round Saturday Mar 22
1-Serena Williams beat Caroline Garcia 6-4 4-6 6-4
4-Maria Sharapova beat Lucie Safarova 6-4 6-7(7) 6-2
12-Ana Ivanovic beat 20-Flavia Pennetta 6-4 6-3
5-Angelique Kerber beat Tsvetana Pironkova 6-0 6-2
19-Kirsten Flipkens beat 14-Sabine Lisicki w.o.
8-Petra Kvitova beat Donna Vekic 6-3 6-4
23-Ekaterina Makarova beat 9-Sara Errani 6-3 2-6 6-4