Djokovic, Federer advance, Clijsters crashes out
MIAMI - Agence France-Presse
Roger Federer recorded his 23rd win of the year with a two-set victory over tournament wild-card Ryan Harrison. REUTERS photoDefending champ Novak Djokovic and world No. 3 Roger Federer both advanced through the Miami Masters second round in straight sets, but crowd favorite Kim Clijsters crashed out of the women’s draw.
Top seed Djokovic easily defeated Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 6-4 at the ATP/WTA Miami Masters hardcourt tournament on March 24.
Third-seeded Federer recorded his 23rd win of 2012 by beating 19-year-old American wild card Ryan Harrison 6-2, 7-6 (7/3).
“I felt like I had to win the match three times at the end, so I was relieved to come through,” Federer said. “And beating an American in America is always a big deal, because this is here where they usually play their very best.” The Swiss superstar is bidding to capture his third Indian Wells-Miami title double, having also won the back-to-back US hardcourt Masters events in 2005 and 2006.
Federer has now won 40 of his past 42 matches since the 2011 US Open semi-finals.
“I guess I’m more confident now. I have been playing really nice as of late,” Federer said.
The 24-year-old Djokovic now has 15 wins and just two losses on the year. This was his first match since losing in three sets to American John Isner in the semis of the the Indian Wells Masters tournament.
“I am really trying to have a positive attitude,” Djokovic said. “I’m here to fight for the title just as all the other players are and not to defend it.” Top seed Djokovic finished with two aces, one double fault and won 80 percent of his first-serve points in the 91 minute night match.
“I was working very hard these days to get ready for this tournament, so every win means to me a lot,” Djokovic said. “So I’m really looking forward to the next match.” Djokovic advances to the third round where he will square off against fellow Serb Viktor Troicki who rallied to beat qualifier Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Andy Roddick, the number 31 seed and 2004 and 2010 champion in Miami, dropped nine points on his serve and hit 10 aces to beat Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller 6-3, 6-2.
The American, who is at his lowest ranking since July 2001, won in 74 minutes. Roddick advances to face third seed Federer.
Fifth seed David Ferrer, who reached the 2005 and 2006 semi-finals, converted four of 10 break-point opportunities to beat 19-year-old Australian Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-4.
France’s Gael Monfils defeated Ukrainian qualifier Sergei Bubka -- the boyfriend of women’s number one, Victoria Azarenka -- 6-4, 6-4 in 78 minutes.
Monfils next faces Argentine 21st seed Juan Monaco.
On the women’s side of the draw, Russian second seed Maria Sharapova eased her way into the fourth round but Clijsters bit the dust after losing to Belgian compatriot Yanina Wickmayer in straight sets.
Sharapova cruised into the next round by dominating American qualifier Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-2.
Sharapova, who is a three-time runner-up in Miami, advances to face unseeded Russian compatriot Ekaterina Makarova who beat Mona Barthel of Germany 6-2, 6-4.
Former world number one Clijsters saved three match points against Wickmayer, the 23rd seed, before losing 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) in the third round.
“She definitely started off much better and was more consistent throughout,” Clijsters said. “It was close. It’s a little bit frustrating knowing that I am playing not even 50 percent but it is still that close.
“On one hand I could have beaten her with the way that I was playing and feeling, but she played good.” Clijsters, who was playing her first tournament since an Australian Open semi-final defeat by Azarenka, had skipped last week’s Indian Wells tournament to rest her injured ankle.
The 28-year-old won the Miami event in 2005 and 2010.
American 10th seed Serena Williams breezed into the fourth round with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Italian number 21 seed Roberta Vinci.
Williams is playing her first tournament since a fourth-round exit at the Australian Open.