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Murray into Forth Round at Sony Open

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Murray into Forth Round at Sony Open


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Miami, FL Ricky Dimon
Absences and withdrawals have marked the 2013 Sony Open Tennis event, but Andy Murray–to name just one–is restoring order to the proceedings. Murray earned his second consecutive straight-set win by dismissing Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(3), 6-3 during third-round action on Monday afternoon.

Dimitrov, who lost to Murray in the Brisbane final earlier this season, got off to a fast start. The 21-year-old Bulgarian twice led by a break in the first set but ultimately he could not serve it out at 5-4. Dimitrov also squandered a mini-break advantage in the ensuing tiebreaker and from there he lost the second set in less dramatic fashion.

“He probably got a little bit nervous,” Murray said of Dimitrov, “and that helped me. Once I started to improve my depth a bit I made it tough for him and he started to make more mistakes after that.”

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga followed suit on the show court and hammered Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and five minutes. Tsonga fought off the only two break points he faced to book a fourth-round showdown against Marin Cilic.

Compared with Cilic (a straight-set victor over John Isner) and Tsonga, Tomas Berdych took a more roundabout way to the last eight. Berdych saved a match point at 3-5 in the second set with a second-serve aces and he survived another in the ensuing tiebreaker. One break in the final frame of play allowed the fourth-seeded Czech to complete his comeback win.

Ricky Dimon is a contributor in Miami and writes for TennisTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter under @RD_Tennistalk by clicking here.

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Djokovic and Ferrer Advance to Fourth Round at Sony Open

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Djokovic and Ferrer Advance to Fourth Round at Sony Open


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Miami, FL Ricky Dimon
The men’s singles draw at the Sony Open Tennis event is befitting March Madness, with plenty of surprise entrants making impressive inroads, but Novak Djokovic is doing his best to restore order in the absences of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Two days after destroying Lukas Rosol 6-1, 6-0 in his opening match, Djokovic rolled over Somdev Devvarman 6-2, 6-4 during second-round action on Sunday afternoon.

Miami’s two-time defending champion took control right away with a break for a 1-0 advantage in the first set. Djokovic broke again for 5-2 and served out the opener one game later before a single break helped him through the second. Devvarman saw his only break chance in the final game at 5-4 in the second, but he could not convert.

“Conditions (were) not so great,” Djokovic assured when asked about the wind, which gusted all day long. “It was very difficult to get into the rhythm because because you couldn’t really serve at 100 percent and you had to go for more precision and you had to put twice as much effort in the step adjustments because of the windy conditions. All in all I’m just happy to get through the rough day.”

David Ferrer also handled the conditions in commendable fashion as he dismissed Fabio Fognini 6-1, 7-5. Ferrer, who was contesting his first match of the tournament due to a Dmitry Tursunov withdrawal in the previous round, gave back a break in the second set but recovered to served out the match at 6-5.

“It’s difficult for us, for me and for my opponent,” Ferrer said of the wind. “I am happy because it is not easy to play with Fognini. He played one match before. He was more comfortable in the court. But I am happy with my game.”

More dramatic encounters featured Jurgen Melzer against Tobias Kamke and Albert Ramos against James Blake.

Kamke had taken out Juan Martin Del Potro and he got off to a fast start in this one, but Melzer stormed back to prevail 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4. Ramos survived a hard-hitting night match in the Stadium, scoring a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 victory over Blake. They aren’t quite making Cinderella runs of Florida Gulf Coast proportions, but either Melzer or Ramos will advance to the quarterfinals when they go head-to-head on Tuesday.

Ricky Dimon is a contributor in Miami and writes for TennisTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter under @RD_Tennistalk by clicking here.

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Djokovic and Sharapova Top Billing at Sony Open On Sunday

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Djokovic and Sharapova Top Billing at Sony Open On Sunday


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Reigning champion Novak Djokovic takes the court on the first Sunday of the tournament. The Serb battles Somdev Dewarman in the third round as he attempts to pocket his third successive title at the Sony Open.

Four time finalist Maria Sharapova faces fellow Russian Elena Vesnina in the round of 32. Sharapova is trying for the second straight year to reach the finals at both Indian Wells and Miami.

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Murray Rolls at Sony Open, Top Americans Battle into Third round

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Murray Rolls at Sony Open, Top Americans Battle into Third round


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Miami, FL Ricky Dimon
While other top players prematurely tumbled out of the tournament or skipped the Sony Open Tennis event altogether, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray forged full steam ahead.

Less than 24 hours after Djokovic hammered Lukas Rosol 6-1, 6-0, Murray took care of Bernard Tomic 6-3, 6-1 during second-round action on Saturday afternoon. The third-ranked Scot struck eight aces and held all eight of his service games to prevail in a mere 56 minutes.

Tomic held his first two service games of the match and even saw multiple break points at 2-1 in the opener, but it was downhill for him the rest of the way. The 20-year-old Australian dropped five of the next six games, including at 3-5 on his own serve. Tomic, who explained afterward that he had been dealing with an illness, was more hopeless in the second. He won a mere two return points and saved none of the break points he faced.

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Del Potro Upset, Djokovic Advances at Sony Open

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Del Potro Upset, Djokovic Advances at Sony Open


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Miami, FL Ricky Dimon

No Roger Federer, no Rafael Nadal, and now no Juan Martin Del Potro. Always a marquee draw, especially at a tournament sometimes known as “the Latin American slam,” Del Potro lost his opening match at the Sony Open on Friday evening. The Argentine lost to Tobias Kamke 7-6(5), 6-1 in one hour and 50 minutes.

Del Potro, coming off a runner-up finish in Indian Wells, led 5-2 in the first set and even had two set points in the eighth game. Not only did the world No. 7 fail to close the deal, but he also squandered a mini-break lead in the ensuing tiebreaker. After a rain delay halted play for two hours in between sets, a listless Del Potro had nothing left in the tank. Kamke raced to a 5-0 advantage before serving out the match with a routine hold at 5-1.

“I made a lot of mistakes,” Del Potro assured. “I was excited to play here, but it was just a bad day and he played really well. I think he deserved to win and it’s okay.”

Although the German’s victory made for a shocking result, it was by no means the most bizarre event of the day. Early on in the night session, not long after Del Potro’s setback, a power outage blacked out the grounds and delayed the action yet again, this time for 30 minutes.

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Novak Djokovic Seeks Place in Record Books at the 2013 Sony Open

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Novak Djokovic Seeks Place in Record Books at the 2013 Sony Open



IMG_1283_DjokovicNovak Djokovic begins his Sony Open title defense on Friday night, March 22. Djokovic, the 2013 Australian Open champion, is looking for a place in the Sony Open record books by attempting to win three straight Miami titles.

Possibly standing in Djokovic’s path is a potential semifinal encounter with Juan Martin Del Potro. If both players advance to the semis in Miami, it would be a rematch of last week’s 2013 BNP Paribas Open semifinal. In that match, Del Potro emerged the victor ending Djokovic’s 17 match winning streak. The only player to have won the Miami title three years in a row is Andre Agassi (2001 – 2003).

Here is the official press release from the tournament :

WORLD NO. 1 NOVAK DJOKOVIC TO KICK-OFF EVENING SESSION PLAY ON FRIDAY, MARCH 22

MIAMI, Fla. (www.sonyopentennis.com) – World No. 1 and two-time defending Sony Open champion Novak Djokovic will return to South Florida on Friday, March 22 (Session 8) at 7:30 p.m. to begin his quest to a three peat at this year’s 2013 Sony Open. Djokovic’s potential opponents will be determined when the men’s draw is announced on Monday, March 18.

Djokovic has proven from his success at the Sony Open that this is one of his favorite stops on tour. The gregarious Serbian star has always stated that he “enjoys the beautiful city of Miami and the tennis fever that goes on in South Florida.”

The three time Sony Open champion (’07,’11,‘12) is looking to continue his hot start to 2013 after capturing the Australian Open crown in January. Djokovic has consistently had great results at the Sony Open, reaching the finals four of the last six years, including an epic championship win over Andy Murray last year.

Arguably the best player in the world the past two years, Djokovic has won 19 titles including 5 Grand Slams since the start of 2011 and is looking to hold a tighter grasp on the number one ranking.

The Sony Open offers the ultimate entertainment experience over a span of two weeks with an array of events taking place in between exceptional matches featuring the best players on the planet. The exciting restaurants and lounges on site contribute to the electrifying buzz in which fans can enjoy and prepare for the launch of the evening session. Also prior to Djokovic’s evening match, Fila will host “FILA Friday Night” on the entertainment stage at 6:00 p.m. This event brings some of the top ATP and WTA players to the stage in which fans can participate in a question and answer session.

Tickets to the 2013 Sony Open are on sale now and can be purchased by phone (305-442-3367) or via the internet at www.sonyopentennis.com. A thrilling two weeks of tennis conclude with the women’s final on Saturday, March 30 and the men’s final on Sunday, March 31.

ABOUT THE SONY OPEN: The 2013 Sony Open will be played March 18-April 31 at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Miami. The two-week combined event is owned and operated by IMG. The Sony Open is one of nine ATP Masters 1000 Series events on the ATP calendar, a Premier Mandatory event on the WTA calendar, and features the top men’s and women’s tennis players in the world. In 2012 Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray for his third Sony Open title, while Agnieszka Radwanska knocked off Maria Sharapova to capture her first title in Miami. For ticket information, call (305) 442-3367 or visit the website at www.SonyOpenTennis.com

ABOUT SONY MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS: Sony Mobile Communications is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation, a leading global innovator of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for both the consumer and professional markets. Through its Xperia™ smartphone portfolio, Sony Mobile Communications delivers the best of Sony technology, premium content and services, and easy connectivity to Sony’s world of networked entertainment experiences. For more information: www.sonymobile.com

ABOUT IMG: IMG Worldwide is a global sports, entertainment and media business, with nearly 3,000 employees operating in 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging: IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in China, Brazil and India; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academies; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing. More information is available at www.imgworld.com.

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Rafael Nadal Withdraws from 2013 Sony Open

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Rafael Nadal Withdraws from 2013 Sony Open


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Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the 2013 Sony Open to rest his left knee. On the advice of doctors, Nadal will return home to rest and strengthen his left leg in the lead up to the clay court season. Nadal is expected to return to the ATP in April to play in Monte Carlo.

Here is the official statement by Adam Barrett, Tournament Director, Sony Open Tennis

“We are disappointed to hear the news that Rafael Nadal will not be competing in Miami this year, especially given his strong results since his return to the Tour. He is a tremendous ambassador for the game and has thousands of adoring fans here in South Florida. We wish him well and hope to see him back in Miami next year. The Sony Open is looking forward to a tremendous two weeks of tennis with the likes of two-time defending Australian Open men’s champion Novak Djokovic, defending Olympic gold medalist and US Open men’s champion Andy Murray, 2013 Australian Open women’s champion Victoria Azarenka, reigning French Open women’s champion Maria Sharapova and defending Wimbledon, US Open and Olympic champion Serena Williams competing against the rest of the world’s best players here in Miami”.

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Gulbis Wins the International Tennis Championships in Delray Beach

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Gulbis Wins the International Tennis Championships in Delray Beach


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Ernests Gulbis made a return appearance in the final at the International Tennis Championships in Delray Beach, Florida. The 2010 champion battled 29 year old Edouard Roger-Vasselin who was in his maiden ATP final. Gulbis downed Roger-Vasselin 7-6, 6-3 to bank his third career trophy.

This is the first time since 2007 in Houston that two players ranked outside the top hundred have reached this stage of the tournament. Gulbis, a former top 30 player, narrowly escaped the qualifying round to get into the main draw.

In the second round, Gublis overcame a 4-0 lead by third seed Sam Querrey in the third set. Later, in the semifinals versus second seed Tommy Haas, the Latvian erased a 0-40 disadvantage in the third set at 5 all to become the sixth qualifier to advance to the final.

For his part, Roger-Vasselin bounced big serving Ivo Karlovic in the second round, then, shocked top seed John Isner in the semifinals.

Although Gulbis and Roger-Vasselin had not met at the big league level, the two clashed on three prior occasions on the challenger circuit last in 2007 with Gulbis the winner every time.

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Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, Azarenka, Serena and Sharapova Headline 2013 Sony Open

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Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, Azarenka, Serena and Sharapova Headline 2013 Sony Open


The Sony Open will be played in Miami March 18 through March 31 at the Crandon Park Tennis Center. In anticipation of the 2013 Sony Open, the tournament has released the men’s and women’s entry list.

Novak Djokovic, the 2013 Australian Open champion, returns to Miami to defend his 2012 title. Djokovic is looking for a place in the record books by attempting to win three straight Miami titles. The only player to have won the title three years in a row is Andre Agassi (2001 – 2003). Also joining Djokovic in Miami are Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal. Absent from the roster this year is Roger Federer who has decided to limit his play in 2013 and in the process will be skipping the Sony Open.

On the women’s side Victoria Azarenka, the 2013 Australian Open champion, will be looking to add another title in Miami. Azarenka has won the title in Miami on two occasions. Agnieszka Radwanska will also be in Miami attempting to defend her 2012 Sony Open title. Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams also highlight the women’s field. A title in Miami by Williams will break the record for most titles by a women in Miami. Williams is currently tied with Steffi Graf with 5 Miami titles.

Below is the official press release from the Sony Open :

SONY OPEN TO HOST GRAND SLAM PLAYER FIELD

Reigning Grand Slam Champions Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, Williams, Sharapova and Azarenka all entered to play.

MIAMI, Fla. (www.sonyeopentennis.com) – The ATP and WTA entry lists for the 2013 Sony Open were announced today and the tournament will once again feature a Grand Slam caliber player field.

Click Here to View Full Lists

Each spring the Sony Open brings the greatest tennis players in the world to the Crandon Park Tennis Center and 2013 is no different. The Sony Open field features several Grand Slam champions including reigning singles champions Novak Djokovic (Australian Open), Rafael Nadal (French Open), Andy Murray (US Open), Victoria Azarenka (Australian Open), Maria Sharapova (French Open) and Serena Williams (Wimbledon and US Open).

Tickets to the 2013 Sony Open, which will be played March 18-31 at the Crandon Park Tennis Center, are on sale now and can be purchased by phone (305-442-3367) or online at www.sonyopentennis.com. An electrifying two weeks of tennis conclude with the women’s final on Saturday, March 30 and the men’s final on Sunday, March 31.

Qualifying rounds will be played March 18-19 and will determine 12 more slots in each singles draw. The tournament will also award wildcards to five men and eight women. The main draw begins on Tuesday, March 19 as the women take the court, followed by the beginning of the men’s main draw on Wednesday, March 20.

Djokovic returns to Miami seeking a three-peat, having won the trophy in 2012 and 2011. He brought home his first Sony Open title in 2007. On the women’s side, 15-time Grand Slam champ and Olympic Gold Medalist, Serena Williams returns on a mission for a record-breaking sixth Sony Open title, but both contenders will face a tough field in their quest for Sony Open history.

On the men’s side, 11-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, recently made his return to the court and is entered to play his 10th consecutive Sony Open. Nadal, a three-time finalist, will attempt to capture his first title on the purple courts. Andy Murray, the 2009 Sony Open champion, will look to bounce back from last year’s final appearance and take home the coveted trophy.

The women’s field is also extremely competitive, featuring American Sloane Stephens, who made her first Grand Slam semifinal appearance this year, which included a win over Serena Williams at the Australian Open. Two-time Sony Open winner Victoria Azarenka, comimg off here second consecutive Australian Open title, seeks her third Sony Open title in five years. Also a favorite to capture her first Sony Open title is the ever-popular Maria Sharapova, who last year completed the career Grand Slam with her French Open victory.

With such a tremendous player field one might forget that the Sony Open is more than just tennis and has become the standard for first-class sporting events. High fashion, great food, fabulous shopping and celebrity musical performances have made the Sony Open the most glamorous stop on tour.

Come see why huge crowds as well as the biggest names in music, entertainment and sports visit the Sony Open each March. Get your tickets today.

ABOUT THE SONY OPEN: The 2013 Sony Open will be played March 18-April 31 at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Miami. The two-week combined event is owned and operated by IMG. The Sony Open is one of nine ATP Masters 1000 Series events on the ATP calendar, a Premier Mandatory event on the WTA calendar, and features the top men’s and women’s tennis players in the world. In 2012 Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray for his third Sony Open title, while Agnieszka Radwanska knocked off Maria Sharapova to capture her first title in Miami. For ticket information, call (305) 442-3367 or visit the website at www.SonyOpenTennis.com

ABOUT SONY MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS: Sony Mobile Communications is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation, a leading global innovator of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for both the consumer and professional markets. Through its Xperia™ smartphone portfolio, Sony Mobile Communications delivers the best of Sony technology, premium content and services, and easy connectivity to Sony’s world of networked entertainment experiences. For more information: www.sonymobile.com

ABOUT IMG: IMG Worldwide is a global sports, entertainment and media business, with nearly 3,000 employees operating in 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging: IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in China, Brazil and India; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG

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Djokovic Captures Historic Third Successive Australian Open Title

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Djokovic Captures Historic Third Successive Australian Open Title



Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the Australian Open to become the first player in the Open Era to hoist that trophy three years in a row.

With extensive baseline rallies, a well contested opening set left Djokovic with a sour taste after he failed to capitalize on four break points in the sixth game and another in the eighth. Ultimately, the set was settled by a tiebreaker.

As a result of a double fault, Djokovic spotted his opponent a 1-0 advantage. From there, Murray took full advantage and ran away with the tiebreaker 7-2.

Subsequent to a love hold, Murray had triple break point courtesy of a litany of miscues by Djokovic, By reverting to his defensive style, Murray wasted those opportunities which allowed Djokovic to guard serve for 1 all.

As the second set progressed, each player dug in and protected serve quite comfortably. Again, a tiebreaker was needed to decide the set’s winner.

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