Tag Archive | "Isner"

Nadal follows Federer in mass exodus of seeds out of Miami Open

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Nadal follows Federer in mass exodus of seeds out of Miami Open

Miami, Ricky Dimon
Round two of the Miami Open was an unmitigated disaster for the tournament. It all started when Roger Federer withdrew on Friday due to illness, after which Juan Martin Del Potro lost to lucky loser Horacio Zeballos. It continued on Saturday, when Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka were ousted–albeit in much different fashions.

On a searingly hot day in Miami, Nadal succumbed to the conditions and retired while trailing Damir Dzumhur 2-6, 6-4, 3-0. The fifth-ranked Spaniard rolled through the opening set but he clearly began to fade in the second.


“Everything was fine until end of the first set,” Nadal explained. “I start to feel myself not very good. It[was] getting worse, worse, and worse, so finally in the second set I realize that I was not able to keep playing. I tried to resist, but I [got] a little bit scared to be too dizzy. So I [called] the doctor a couple of times, but I felt that I was not safe. I wanted to finish the match, but I seriously could not.”

He wasn’t the only one.

Sergiy Stakhovsky, Thomaz Bellucci, and Aljaz Bedene also retired. Sam Querrey might as well have done the same. Serving at 4-5 in the third set against Adrian Mannarino, Querrey completely shut down–perhaps both mentally and physically. The American received a warning, reportedly for not giving an effort, and then incurred a match-ending point penalty at 0-40.

John Isner looked like he might retire against fellow American Tim Smyczek in their first set, as the world No. 13 struggled with both the heat and a left-knee issue. But he was saved, albeit temporarily, by cloud coverage and the setting sun. Isner battled back to force a third set but ultimately went down 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(5). He double-faulted twice in the final-set tiebreaker, including down match point. Isner’s last four losses have all come in third-set ‘breakers.

In other action on the Grandstand, Andrey Kuznetsov upset an out-of-sorts Stan Wawrinka. The fourth-ranked Swiss served at just 54 percent, won only 65 percent of his first-serve points, and lost way more than half of his second-serve points (18 of 32).

“Today was very tough to play [in] this weather, with these conditions” Kuznetsov assured. “I think it actually helped me a little bit, because I saw that Stan was also struggling with moving.”

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

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Spanish Armada: Nadal and Verdasco advance in Miami Open doubles draw

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Spanish Armada: Nadal and Verdasco advance in Miami Open doubles draw

Miami, Ricky Dimon

Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco won their opening match at the Miami Open on Thursday evening, beating Simone Bolelli and Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4.

Nadal and Verdasco needed one hour and nine minutes to set up a showdown against the American duo of John Isner and Nicholas Monroe.

The all-Spanish pairing took control with a service break at 2-2 in the first set when Nadal chose to return on the deuce point and started it nicely with a stellar backhand return. The Spaniards broke again at 5-3 to finish off the opening frame of play in style.

Bolelli and Seppi appeared to be on their way out after donating serve at 0-1 in the second. Out of nowhere, however, Verdasco stumbled through the following service game with a flurry of errors and one double-fault to let the Italians back in the match. Bolelli soon found himself serving to stay in the match at 4-5, at which point another deuce situation ensued. Verdasco got a shot at it this time and sent back a strong return that induced a match-ending error.

Isner and Monroe pulled off an upset in an all-North American showdown against Jack Sock and Vasek Pospisil. The former UGA Bulldog and UNC Tar Heel saved 11 of 12 break points on their way to a 7-6(3), 6-3 victory. Sock and Pospisil, who finished runner-up in Indian Wells, won a horrendous 60 percent of the points when they put their first serves in the court.

As the first round of singles action wrapped up, Denis Istomin produced a shocking comeback at the expense of Borna Coric. Istomin had not won a single match all season long and it looked like more of the same would continue when Coric served for the match at 5-4 in the second set. The 19-year-old Croat twice came within two points of victory, at 30-15 and 30-30 at 5-4. But Istomin broke back to stay alive and then broke again to force a third.

It was soon Coric’s turn to battle back from a break deficit, which the world No. 46 did at 1-3. A streak of holds brought the proceedings to a 6-5 Istomin advantage and Coric buckled under the pressure when he served to stay in the match for a second time. Istomin broke at love to clinch a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 triumph after two hours and 45 minutes.

Among those joining the Uzbek in round two were Tim Smyczek, Denis Kudla, Sergiy Stakhovsky, and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

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

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Murray Tops Berdych to Advance to Miami Open Final

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Murray Tops Berdych to Advance to Miami Open Final

Tennis - 2015 ATP World Tour 1000 - Miami Open - Key Biscayne, USA - Day 7 - Sunday 29 March 2015Two-time Miami Open champion Andy Murray has advanced to his fourth Miami Open final.

The third seed took out Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-4 to book a spot in Sunday’s finals. Murray will face the winner of the second semifinal match between 2014 Miami Open defending champion Novak Djokovic and John Isner. Murray last claimed the Miami title in 2013.

“I felt like I served well,” Murray said after the match. “It was tricky from one end of the court. We’re basically serving right into the sun at that time of day, so I had to take a little bit off the serve. On the second serve it was very tough to see.”

With regard to his previous matches against Berdych, Murray commented “I’ve played him on the clay obviously I found it tricky against him. We played a couple times when the conditions have been extremely heavy. He’s a big, big guy. When the conditions are like that, he can still generate a lot of force, a lot of power. But, you know, when I’ve played him on some of the quicker surfaces, I feel like I’ve been able to hit through the court and make him move a lot.”

Early in the tournament Murray claimed his 500 career match win when he bounced Kevin Anderson in the fourth round.

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Djokovic and Nishikori March on to the Round of 16 at the Miami Open

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Djokovic and Nishikori March on to the Round of 16 at the Miami Open

Djokoivc_MO_RFIn search of his third double-double, the combination of Indian Wells and Miami Open trophies, Novak Djokovic took another step forward today in beating Steve Darcis 6-0, 7-5 to move into the round of 16.

There is not much to discuss about an opening set, where the world number one posted a bagel against his peer. After Djokovic seized seven successive games, Darcis at last made his presence felt in the second set.

The 31 year old qualifier, in his maiden third round at the Miami Open, overcame three break points before holding serve for 2 all. As Djokovic continued to push, Darcis again was made to work to level the score in the sixth game.

The possibility of a third set became imminent as the Belge broke for 5-4 and had the opportunity to steal a set. However, the four time champion was in no mood for a decisive set. Djokovic took the next three games to dash any of his rival’s hopes.

Djokovic acknowledged that the second set was a tad hairy “the drop of the intensity and the fact that I didn’t use the opportunities early [on] resulted in a close second set. He’s got a lot of variety, especially from the backhand side, he slices pretty well. I was handling it really good, then started to make some unforced errors, complicated my own life. But at the end of the day, it’s a win.”

All players go through periods of self doubt as Rafael Nadal confessed when he loss to Fernando Verdasco. Djokovic admits that he is not the exception “more or less every single match you go through these moments. We are all humans and go through emotional ups and downs depending on the quality and intensity of the match. I understand what [Nadal] is talking about because I’m playing for many years at this high level and I know [the] pressure and expectations [that go along]. It’s normal to have periods of crisis, feel more doubt than confidence in important moments and you lose a couple of matches. I’m sure Nadal is somebody who knows exactly how to deal with this particular situation and how to get better.”

Next, Djokovic takes on Alexandr Dolgopolov. A quarterfinalist in 2014, the Ukranian defeated Thomaz Bellucci in straight sets.

Looking ahead, Djokovic cited “he’s feeling good. He likes this surface, a bit slower court with higher bounce. He has a very quick dynamic motion on the serve and can serve very big for somebody of his height. I know what to expect. Hopefully, I’ll be able to start as well as I did in the first two matches, but end it in a bit different way.”

In the opening match of the grandstand, Kei Nishikori needed only 63 minutes to send off Viktor Troicki 6-2, 6-2. Also in action was Spaniard David Ferrer. The 2013 finalist took care of Lukas Rosol 6-4, 7-5 and will duke it out with Gilles Simon for a berth in the quarterfinals. Milos Raonic outlasted Jeremy Chardy 6-1, 5-7, 7-6. Raonic will find John Isner across the net. The American ousted Grigor Dimitrov the ninth seed with a 7-6, 6-2 triumph.

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Dimitrov Destroys Pospisil to Advance at the Miami Open, Tsonga and Isner Advance

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Dimitrov Destroys Pospisil to Advance at the Miami Open, Tsonga and Isner Advance

Tennis - 2015 ATP World Tour 1000 - Miami Open - Key Biscayne, USA - Day 6 - Saturday 28 March 2015One of the star matches on Stadium Court at the Miami Open featured 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov against promising prospect, Vasek Pospisil. For the Canadian who ousted Juan Martin Del Potro in the first round, it was a miserable day at the office. Dimitrov required only 59 minutes to dismantle his opponent 6-2, 6-2.

The ninth seed came out of the block blazing converting on double break point in the opening game. Dimitrov went on to cash in on another break point in the fifth game to take a 4-1 lead. The Bulgarian closed out the first set with ease with a love hold.

Unfortunately for Popisil, the second set offered more of the same. Leveled at 2 all, the Canadian surrendered his serve by double faulting. After Dimitrov consolidated, Pospisil dropped serve his next game. Without fanfare, Dimitrov sealed the match on his first match point.

In the third round, Dimitrov will battle John Isner. The American had a comfortable 6-3,6-4 victory against reigning junior world number one, 17 year old Andrey Rublev.

Earlier in the afternoon, in a hold over from last evening rained out session, the affable Frenchman Jo-Wilfreid Tsonga tussled with American Tim Smyczek for a spot in the third round. The 2008 Australian Open finalist who was on forced sabbatical due to an arm injury held off Smyczek 6-4,3-6,6-3.

Tsonga was satisfied with his performance considering this was his first match in few months “I didn’t expect to play my best tennis today ever. I’m happy the way I managed. . .I played pretty solid. I just had a little hole in the second set, it’s normal when you haven’t played since couple of months”.

Regarding the injury itself, Tsonga reflected “my arm is feeling better today. I hope it’s going to be better and better, but for first match was already something good for me.”

Next for the world number eleven is compatriot Gael Monfils who skipped Indian Wells this year due to a knee issue. Monfils dug deep against Filip Krajinovic in the tiebreaker after wasting a few match points to win 3-6,6-2,7-6.

On Grandstand court, 2014 U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori routed Mikail Youzhny 6-2, 6-1. Fifth seed Milos Raonic and 2013 Miami finalist David Ferrer also crushed their opponents to book their safe passage into the third round. Other winners today include young American Jack Sock, Juan Monaco, Belge David Goffin who schooled 18 year old talent Borna Coric and Fernando Verdasco.

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Nadal, Wawrinka remain on Sony Open semifinal collision course

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Nadal, Wawrinka remain on Sony Open semifinal collision course

IMG_7164_NadalA rematch of this year’s Australian Open title match in the semifinals of the Sony Open Tennis tournament is looking more and more likely with each passing round. Rafael Nadal took care of Denis Istomin in round-of-32 action on Monday and Stanislas Wawrinka beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin, also in straight sets.

Nadal was especially ruthless. The world No. 1, whose Aussie Open final setback against Wawrinka was one of just two losses for him this season compared to 19 wins, destroyed Istomin 6-1, 6-0 in just 59 minutes. Nadal struck three aces without double-faulting, served at 77 percent, and saved all three of the break points he faced.

“I played a very complete match,” Miami’s top seed assured. “No mistakes, serving with good percentage, and playing a lot of winners. My movements were better than what I did (in the) last events.”

Wawrinka, whose last event also saw him tumble out of Indian Wells–like Nadal–prior to the quarterfinals, scored a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Roger-Vasselin. The third-ranked Swiss broke serve at 6-5 in the first and 5-4 in the second to wrap up both of the sets in style.

“[Roger-Vasselin] beat me last year in Basel; I won this year in final of Chennai,” Wawrinka reflected. “He’s always tough to play. I’m happy the way I was fighting, the way I was positive even if I wasn’t playing so well at the beginning.”

John Isner, the United States’ last hope even before the third round started, had little trouble from start to finish against Nicolas Almagro. Isner fought off two break points in the opening set but for the most part held serve comfortably the entire way in a 7-5, 6-3 win. The world No. 10 blasted 17 aces, put in 70 percent of his first deliveries, and lost only five points in five second-set service games.

Isner will face Tomas Berdych during a terrific fourth-round lineup on Tuesday. Other matches include Nadal vs. Fabio Fognini and Wawrinka vs. Alexandr Dolgopolov.

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

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Nadal rolls at Sony Open, Isner lone advancing American

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Nadal rolls at Sony Open, Isner lone advancing American

IMG_6785_NadalMiami Ricky Dimon
Almost nothing has come easy for Rafael Nadal in 2014. But that is exactly how he made it look on Saturday night at the Sony Open Tennis tournament.

Nadal began his week in convincing fashion as he rolled over Lleyton Hewitt 6-1, 6-3 in one hour and nine minutes. The world No. 1 converted four of five break points and faced none on his own serve during the second-round blowout.

Hewitt, the Brisbane champion from earlier this season, lost the first four games of the match before finally holding serve. The 33-year-old Australian eventually had a game point at 3-4 in the second only to lose three straight points and get broken. Nadal dropped only eight points in eight service games and he wrapped up the proceedings with one last routine hold at 5-3.

The Australian Open runner-up, who lost to Alexandr Dolgopolov in the Indian Wells third round, will go up against Denis Istomin on Monday. Istomin reeled off nine games in a row from the start of the second set to 3-0 in the third during a 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-0 win over Dmitry Tursunov. Istomin crushed 19 aces and benefited from 14 double-faults by his opponent, against whom the Uzbek is already 3-1 this year.

In what is becoming old habit for John Isner, the 6’10” American is his country’s last hope on the men’s side. Isner is the only player flying the USA flag in the third round after he battled past compatriot Donald Young 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 55 minutes.

A back-and-forth match saw the world No. 10 lose the opening tiebreaker before seizing a break early in the second. Isner gave it back at 4-2, but Young dropped serve again at 3-4 to let Isner close it out one game later. A quick break in the third ultimately decided the outcome in Isner’s favor.

“I thought I played pretty well,” said the 10th seed, who fired 16 aces. “A lot of times it comes down to a one-set situation for the match and having my serve on my side, it helps. I had a lot of adrenaline going through me, especially when I was up a break. It was one of those things where I go out there and serve my hardest, serve my biggest and win the match.”

Next up for Isner is Nicolas Almagro, who eliminated another American in Sam Querrey via a 6-4, 6-4 scoreline.

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

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Delray Beach Open Announces Player Lineups

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Delray Beach Open Announces Player Lineups

DELRAY BEACH, FL: Four of the current Top 20 singles players, the greatest doubles team of all time, and the 2001 Wimbledon champion are all included in a group of players who have signed on with the Delray Beach Open by The Venetian® Las Vegas to play in the 22nd annual event next February.

The world’s only combined ATP World Tour and ATP Champions Tour event will be played February 14 – 23, 2014 at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center. It will be the 16th year that the tournament will be held in Delray Beach.

The 32-player ATP World Tour field will include Top 20 stars Tommy Haas (No. 12), John Isner (No. 14), Kei Nishikori (No. 18) and Kevin Anderson (No. 20). Janko Tipsarevic, last year’s ATP world No. 8, former world No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt and former world No. 8 Marcos Baghdatis are also among the early entries. The remaining Delray Beach field, including three wild cards, will be announced in January.

Hewitt (1999), Haas (2006), Nishikori (2008) and Anderson (2012) are former Delray Beach champions.

The world No. 1 Bryan Brothers doubles team will highlight the 16-team doubles field, as the popular twins return to Delray Beach for the seventh time after winning titles in 2009 and 2010.

Bombastic Croat Goran Ivanisevic, the only Wimbledon champion in history to have won on a wild card, will join 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick and four other former ATP stars in Delray Beach’s 5-year-old ATP Champions event. Ivanesivic is playing in Delray Beach for the first time.

Roddick committed to his inaugural ATP Champions Tour event in August, while Hall of Famer Mats Wilander is returning for a fourth run at the title. The trio of former two-time Delray Beach ATP World Tour champion Jan-Michael Gambill (2001 & 2003), former French Open finalist Mikael Pernfors and Boca Raton’s Aaron Krickstein round out the field. The competition will be divided into an “American” group (Roddick, Krickstein & Gambill) and a “European” group (Ivanesevic, Wilander, Penfors), with the winners playing a “USA vs Europe” championship match.

“These are undoubtedly the best fields we’ve put together collectively in both our ATP events,” said tournament director Mark Baron. “We continue to strengthen our ATP World Tour field and we’re excited about the ATP Champions Tour battle within the American and European groups and think it’s going to be a fun one for our fans to follow.”

The Delray Beach Open by The Venetian has moved one week earlier on the ATP World Tour calendar. The three-day ATP Champions Tour event will kick off on Valentines’ Day, Friday, Feb. 14 with two evening matches featuring Roddick, Ivanisevic, Gambill and Wilander. The ATP Champions Tour final will be played Sunday, Feb. 16 at 3:00 pm.

The ATP World Tour three-day qualifying rounds begin Saturday, Feb. 15 with the main draw beginning Monday, Feb. 17. The doubles final is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 23 at 1:00 pm followed by the singles final at 3:00 pm.

To purchase tickets, check playing schedules, or to obtain more information, please go to www.YellowTennisBall.com, call 561-330-6000 or visit the Delray Beach event’s box office at 30 NW 1st Avenue, Delray Beach, FL.

Delray Beach ATP World Tour Headliners:

The Bryan Brothers, 2009 and 2010 Delray Beach champs, are 8-time year-end world No. 1 doubles champions. The pair are the first doubles team in history to hold all four Grand Slam titles as well as the Olympic gold medal at the same time. They have 92 career ATP titles, including 15 Grand Slam wins.

Tommy Haas has returned to the Top 20 from major surgery three times in his career. The 2006 Delray Beach champion has twice been the ATP’s “Comeback Player of the Year” and is currently ranked No. 12 in the world. Haas has won more than $12 million in prize money.

Top-ranked American John Isner, who has back-to-back semifinal finishes in Delray Beach, reached a career-high No. 9 in the world in 2012 and enjoyed 18 weeks in the Top 10. He reached the 2011 Australian Open QF and his first Master Series final in Indian Wells that year. He finished No. 1 among ATP players in aces two of the last three years, and has garnered 7 career ATP titles.

Kei Nishikori won his first ATP title in Delray Beach in 2008 as an 18-year-old, and reached his first Grand Slam QF at the 2012 Australian Open. The top all-time Japanese player with rock star status has reached No. 11 in the world this year and is positioned to become the top Asian tennis player of all time.

Kevin Anderson is enjoying the best year of his career, reaching three finals in 2013, and currently No. 20 in the world. In addition to his Delray Beach title in 2012, he has reached two QFs in his new hometown. Anderson established a residence in Delray Beach over the summer.

Janko Tipsarevic, the 2011 Delray Beach runner-up to Juan Martin del Potro, finished 2012 as the year-end No. 8 in the world. With 4 career ATP titles, a 2012 US Open QF finish and the 2010 Davis Cup title, the Serbian has enjoyed two straight Top 10 seasons.

An 18-year-old Lleyton Hewitt won the first ATP tournament held in Delray Beach (1999). The No. 1 player in the world for the 2001 and 2002 seasons won Grand Slam titles at the 2001 US Open and at Wimbledon in 2002 and has five Top 10 year-end finishes, including four in the Top 5.

Marcos Baghdatis was a 2006 Australian Open finalist and became the ATP’s breakout performer that year, reaching a career-high No. 8 and finishing the season at No. 12. Baghdatis was also Top 20 in 2007 and 2010.

Delray Beach ATP Champions Tour Headliners:

2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick will be making his ATP Champions Tour debut in Delray Beach, a venue where he began his pro career with a pair of wild cards in 2000 and 2001. He finished No. 1 in the world for 2003, and had an incredible run in the Top 10 from 2002 – 2010. Roddick led the 2007 US team to the Davis Cup title.

Goran Ivanisevic garnered 22 career ATP wins but his greatest moment was winning the 2001 Wimbledon title 11 years after he won his first title. He achieved a career-high No. 2 ranking and finished in the Top 10 five times in his career.

Hall of Famer (2002) Mats Wilander is one of only five men to win Grand Slams on every surface. The Swede won the first of his seven Slam titles at the French Open as an unseeded 17-year-old. He was the No. 1 ranked player in the world in 1988, won 33 ATP titles and three Davis Cup titles.

Player Schedule Highlights:

Andy Roddick: Friday, Feb. 14 (Session 1 – night), Saturday, Feb. 15 (Session 3 – night)
John Isner: Tuesday, Feb. 18 (Session 8 – night)
Bryan Brothers: Wednesday, Feb. 19 (Session 9 – day)

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Murray into Forth Round at Sony Open

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Murray into Forth Round at Sony Open

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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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

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.

Read the full story

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