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Federer Progresses into the Fourth Round at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Federer Progresses into the Fourth Round at the Sony Ericsson Open



The last encounter that Roger Federer had with Juan Monaco was three years ago at the Masters Series in Hamburg whereby he was victorious. Although the Argentine is known to excel on clay, he gave Federer a good fight on hardcourt today. Federer pulled away with a 7-6, 6-4 win to pen his name into the fourth round.

As a result of a double fault, Federer gave Monaco break point in the opening game. However, Federer managed to hold. By misfiring on a forehand, Monaco gifted Federer a break point and threw in a double fault for the break.

At this point, it seemed Federer would make short work of world number 35. But with a couple of mistakes of his own, Federer surrendered the next game allowing Monaco to get back on serve.

At 2-1, Federer had a couple more chances to break. Still, Monaco was unflappable and guarded serve.

With Monaco saving six out of seven break points, the first set went to a tiebreaker which Federer claimed.

In the second set, Monaco dominated on serve while Federer had a few tight games. Consequently, it seemed that the match could go to a third set. As usual though, Federer stepped it up at the right time.

After an ace for game point, Monaco double faulted for deuce. Then, with a forehand winner, Federer had his second break point opportunity of the game. When Monaco’s forehand landed long, Federer went up 5-4.

With Federer serving for the match, Monaco continued to resist. Finally, with a forehand up the line winner, Federer arrived at 40-30. With Monaco’s stroke going out of play, Federer penned his name into the next round.

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Petkovic Pulls the Plug on Wozniacki at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Petkovic Pulls the Plug on Wozniacki at the Sony Ericsson Open



The first time Andrea Petkovic battled a world number one it was in Rome in 2010. On that occasion, the German came out on the losing end. This time around, the 23 year old also ranked 23rd was not intimidated by her opponent’s ranking. Petkovic stunned Caroline Wozniacki to clinch her first quarterfinal berth at the Sony Ericsson Open.

Wozniacki’s intent was to advance to her third straight quarterfinal at this tournament. Also, the Dane was trying to become the third player to win back to back titles in Indian Wells and Miami; an accomplishment posted only by Steffi Graf and Kim Clijsters.

The first set could have been decided by the flip of a coin. However, it was Petkovic breaking for a 6-5 advantage and on her second set point producing the ace to wrap it up.

In the second set, Wozniacki capitalized on triple break point when Petkovic dumped a forehand into the net and moved in front 2-0.

Yet, when Wozniacki double faulted, Petkovic obtained triple break point. Despite getting to deuce, Wozniacki gave the German one more chance which she seized. Petkovic eventually consolidated for 2 all after wiping out triple break point.

Later on, with a backhand volley, Wozniacki arrived at double break point. She converted for 5-3 and with a love game sealed the second set.

In the deciding set, with a backhand crosscourt winner, Petkovic had break point. The German captured the game for a 2-0 lead. However, Wozniacki with a forehand volley winner promptly broke back.

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Sharapova Stops Stosur at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Sharapova Stops Stosur at the Sony Ericsson Open



Because of her shoulder surgery two years ago and the fact that Samantha Stosur is ranked number five, Maria Sharapova downplayed her 5-0 record against the Aussie. However, after a close first set, the Russian ran away with the match. Sharapova vanquished Stosur 6-4, 6-1 to move on to the quarterfinals.

After double faults played a huge part in the competitors exchanging breaks to open up the first set, Stosur dismissed break point to guard serve for 3-2. Next, when Sharapova double faulted, Stosur had a break point. Yet, the Russian held her ground to pull out the game and level the set at 3 all.

Then, Stosur caught the double fault bug. With two successive ones, she handed Sharapova double break point. Sharapova capitalized and took a 4-3 edge.

After going down 0-30 when attempting to consolidate, Sharapova succeeded in serving well and consolidated. Sharapova latter comfortably bedded the set.

Subsequent to dismissing a break point to hold serve in the initial game of the second set, Stosur was not so lucky her next time out. Sharapova broke to go ahead 2-1.

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Del Potro Sacks Soderling, Djokovic Easily Wins at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Del Potro Sacks Soderling, Djokovic Easily Wins at the Sony Ericsson Open




With each passing match, Juan Martin Del Potro looks one step closer to the form which made him the 2009 U.S. Open champion and a world number four. In the third round of the Sony Ericsson Open, Del Potro knocked out current world number four Robin Soderling 6-3, 6-2.

With three titles already this season and a 20-2 record, Soderling should have felt pretty good going into this contest. However, a recent ailment and an earlier than expected exit at Indian Wells allowed just enough room for Soderling to doubt his chances.

As a result of a net court winner, Del Potro obtained his fourth break point opportunity in the fourth game of the first set. The Argentine capitalized when Soderling’s backhand down the line sailed wide. Then, with an ace on game point, Del Potro consolidated for 4-1.

Because of sensational serving, Del Potro guarded the one break advantage and carried the first set.

After Del Potro broke the first game of the second set, Soderling came alive with two winners to go up 0-30. Yet, Del Potro’s serve came to the rescue. The Argentine saved the game for a 2-0 lead.

Later, Del Potro captured an insurance break. Then with a strong game closed out the match.

When Del Potro won the title in Delray, he felt that the true measure of the state of his game would be prevailing over a top ten player. Having accomplished this objective, Del Potro was asked to evaluate his progress “when you play against these kinds of players and [win it gives you a little bit of confidence]. Today, my serve, my forehand, my backhand, everything worked incredibly well. He’s a really good player. He had chances, too, but I took my opportunities. . .that was very important for my confidence”.

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Clijsters Shakes Off Martinez Sanchez, Zvonareva Advances

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Clijsters Shakes Off Martinez Sanchez, Zvonareva Advances




Defending Sony Ericsson Open champion Kim Clijsters halted Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez to advance to the fourth round at the Sony Ericsson Open. That victory marked the 500th of Clijsters’ career.

Martinez Sanchez is know for her craftiness and in their first meeting, the Spaniard gave Clijsters plenty to think about. Using the dropshot, volleys and slice to offset Clijsters’ power.

Clijsters and Martinez Sanchez were all squared in the break department until Clijsters broke for a second time which made the difference in the first set.

Martinez Sanchez captured an early break in the second set, but Clijsters found the means to level the set. Still at 4 all, Martinez Sanchez fired a winner for double break point. When Clijsters’ forehand landed long, the Spaniard went ahead 5-4.

Subsequently, with a volley winner, Martinez Sanchez arrived at double set point and converted when Clijsters’ return traveled long.

In the deciding set, Clijsters secured a quick break and consolidated to move in front 3-0. However, when Clijsters flubbed a pass, Martinez Sanchez had her second break opportunity of the game. With Clijsters netting a backhand, Martinez Sanchez was gifted the break.

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Sharapova Too Strong for Lisicki, Stosur also into Fourth Round

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Sharapova Too Strong for Lisicki, Stosur also into Fourth Round



Two time Sony Ericsson Open finalist Maria Sharapova commenced her bid for the title by trouncing her third round rival. Sharapova destroyed Sabine Lisicki 6-2, 6-0.

From the first ball strike, Sharapova made her presence felt. After an early break and consolidating, with Lisicki serving at 2-4, Sharapova went up triple break point. Although Lisicki got to deuce, it was just delaying the inevitable. In the end, Sharapova captured another break and closed out the set.

After getting the break the initial game of the second set, Sharapova rolled on to clinch a spot into the third round.

Subsequent to the match, Sharapova commented that it was good that it was “pretty straightforward. . .a little tricky with the conditions. [Lisicki] is someone [who] can fire the ball really well and hits pretty solid[ly] from both sides. She’s someone [who]‘s beaten top players before. . . I knew that she would come out swinging pretty hard and deep. So I just wanted to be aggressive from the beginning.”

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Federer On Cruise Control at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Federer On Cruise Control at the Sony Ericsson Open



Despite a 10-2 record against his second round counterpart, Roger Federer is acutely aware that Radek Stepanek can be a dangerous player. However, from the outset, Federer was in full control of the match. Federer vanquished Stepanek 6-3, 6-3 to move on to the third round at the Sony Ericsson Open.

At love, Federer broke to go ahead 4-3. Federer sustained the cushion all the way through to seal the first set.

His first time out serving in the second set, Federer stared at break point in the second game. Yet, the world number three wiped that out in a hurry. Subsequently, Federer obtained the break in the third game.

Thereafter, Federer was supreme breaking Stepanek one last time as he served to extend the match.

Federer has been a fixture on the tour for over a decade. It seems every time he steps on court there’s another record he is equalizing or shattering. With the victory this afternoon, Federer knotted Pete Sampras with 762 wins.

Federer was asked his thoughts on this new feat “It’s nice tying Pete, but he could have played for many more years. He could still win some matches on tour now if he wanted to. . . It’s a funny stat, but it shows how long I have been around already, how much I’ve won, all around the world and all the different surfaces. . . over 10, 12 solid seasons. I’ve never missed big chunks of seasons. That’s how you end up with so many wins, I guess.”

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Djokovic Squelches Istomin, Del Potro Resists to Reach 3rd Round

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Djokovic Squelches Istomin, Del Potro Resists to Reach 3rd Round



No one these days can touch Novak Djokovic.  Djokovic cruised through his second round match at the Sony Ericsson Open.  The Serb thrashed Denis Istomin 6-0, 6-1 to book a spot in the next round against American James Blake.

It’s perhaps safe to surmise that Denis Istomin had a feeling of impeding doom prior to his match.  Of late, most players seeing Djokovic across the net would share a similar uneasiness.

After having a bagel besides his name in the first set, Istomin held his first service game of the second set.  However Istomin’s, next time around, Djokovic obtained the break.

Djokovic went down double break point while trying to consolidate.  Any notion of Istomin showing signs of life were quickly eradicated as Djokovic guarded serve for 4-1.

For Istomin the winners were too few while the errors were many.  Consequently, it took Djokovic just 48 minutes to dispatch his adversary.

Subsequent to the match, MiamiTennisNews.com wanted to know:  You’ve played so much tennis, is it helpful that tonight’s match was so short?
DJOKOVIC:  Definitely helpful.  In opening rounds. . . you’re trying to get used to the conditions and you don’t want to underestimate your opponent.  So you want to step into the court and try to be focused from the start and try to get as quickly as possible out of the court.  I did a great job tonight.

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Murray Falls, Soderling Fights Off Dodig

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Murray Falls, Soderling Fights Off Dodig



Andy Murray cannot seem to shake off the disappointment of his second straight loss in the Australian Open final.  For the second tournament in a row, Murray was defeated by a qualifier.  In the third round at the Sony Ericsson Open, Alex Bogomolov sent Murray packing 6-1,7-5.

The first set Bogomolov could do no wrong while Murray had trouble finding his rhythm.  Although Murray tried his best to snap out of his funk and battled in the second set, Bogomolov found the answers to vanquish the three time majors finalist.

After the match, Murray was asked whether “a confidence problem is plaguing you right now?  Murray answered:  “No, I think it’s more than that.  I mean, I played poorly last two weeks.  I was happier with the way that I competed this week than last.  But, yeah, confidence could have something to do with that.”

Further Murray stated “ the same thing happened around, the same time last year.  I have been practicing well, training well, and then [in] the matches can’t get anything going. That’s obviously disappointing. . . But I think when you’re not playing that well and you’re struggling a little bit, you start to miss balls by a few inches, then, net cords or whatever, challenges and stuff, they seem to go against you more”.

With all that has transpired the last few months, Murray appears in need of a good coach to place him back on the right path.  To a question along these lines, Murray responded “whether I get someone or not . . . it wouldn’t be down to the last two matches, because as a whole, you need to assess things properly.  It’s not anyone’s fault for giving me wrong tactics or practicing the wrong way.  That’s not the reason why I played like I did . . .  I’ll have to think about it and see what I want to do”.

Bogomolov has been playing well of late.  He attributes this victory to his previous results which have been great.  As such, Bogomolov feels it “ really [gives] you confidence and [permits] you to play the bigger points better.  Once you’re in that state, you believe you can do certain things that you weren’t able to do before”.

Robin Soderling got out of a tight spot.  After dropping the first set, Soderling rebounded to defeat Ivan Dodig 3-6,6-2,6-4.  In the third round, Soderling will meet either Juan Martin Del Potro or Philipp Kohlschreiber.  Kohlschreiber stunned Soderling in the third round at Indian Wells.

On the comeback trail, James Blake continues to make great strides.  Blake took out 27th seed Thomaz Bellucci 2-6,6-4,7-6.  Blake will face either sizzling Novak Djokovic or Denis Istomin in the third round.

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Rafael Nadal Answers to the Press at Sony Ericsson Open

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Rafael Nadal Answers to the Press at Sony Ericsson Open



World number one Rafael Nadal sat down with the press this afternoon at the Sony Ericsson Open.  Nadal answered questions about Roger, Federer, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin Del Potro and issues with his serve at Indian Wells.  On the social media front, Nadal has no plans to join Twitter at the moment. Here is his complete interview with the media.

Q. I know you’ve won almost everything in this sport, but not Miami. Is this kind of one you’d like to get? I think you’ve won 6 out of 9 Masters?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I play every tournament with the same motivation. It’s always play well and then I gonna have a good result. In this tournament I think I had two finals, another semifinal. So I had the chances; I didn’t win. Is impossible win in every place. I just accept the challenge and try to play my best tennis. That’s only way to win the tournament where all the best players of the world are playing.

Q. Is it tougher than most because it comes right after Indian Wells and you always seem to go deep into that draw?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. No, I don’t think so.

Q. Did you consider playing in the soccer game the other night? I know you went to watch. Did you consider playing?

RAFAEL NADAL: I would love, you know, but for me is important ‑ probably most important ‑ part of the season right now since Indian Wells until Wimbledon. I had the knees problems and seriously, I don’t want any risk right now, no?

Q. What did you think of the game? We heard that Andy Murray and Baghdatis were the best players.

RAFAEL NADAL: I didn’t see all the game, because I had to work with a sponsor in another place. But they told me, yeah. But remain the star, remain me. (Laughing.) No, seriously, Baghdatis and Murray told me ‑‑ Djokovic told me that Baghdatis and Murray was playing unbelievable. They lost 5‑2, so, anyway, important thing is not the result, is the charity of the event. I think was really good because the crowd was full there, very good atmosphere. After in the dinner with Nole, I was there supporting the dinner, too. So I think was fantastic, too. That’s important, always be active in these charity events, especially for Japan at this moment.

Q. About 10 years ago you probably would have been one of the taller players on the tour. Now you play guys like Querrey and Isner, Raonic and even Djokovic and these guys are 6’3″ and higher. Do you feel like the game is going in that direction? Just gonna get taller and taller? Is it tougher to play against these guys, too?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, but the best players of the world play from the baseline. That’s true. Djokovic is very good from the baseline. Federer is very good from the baseline. Myself. Last couple of years, my best quality is from the baseline. Murray is from the baseline. Soderling, too. Davydenko, too, Berdych, too. That’s true, is coming ‑‑ Del Potro is the only one, but he’s characteristic is from the baseline, too. Is true that the game is coming very tall guys, but at the end of the day, I think the best players of the world and the players who are in the top are players who plays from the baseline. Is true is not easy play against Isner, against Karlovic, against Raonic, but we will see if that is the right way to be in the top. I don’t know.

Q. Is there anything that you notice from your game at Indian Wells that you feel you could improve on in this tournament?

RAFAEL NADAL: A lot of things. (Smiling.) I think during the tournament I didn’t play really good. It wasn’t a good level for me. Semifinals and final I improved my level of tennis, but during the final my serve worked terrible. So that’s the first thing. I have to serve better if I want to have chances to compete against all the players. And from the baseline, seriously, I think I finished the tournament playing much better than the beginning of the tournament. So that’s always a very positive thing.

Q. Did you and Toni work on your serve? Did you find out what was wrong with it?

RAFAEL NADAL: We hope so, but we never know. (Smiling.) We gonna see tomorrow how it works hopefully better.

Q. What is it that you love about playing tennis?

RAFAEL NADAL: I love the competition. Yeah. I love the support in general, all the sports. Tennis is my sport, so I like the tennis and especially I love the competition.

Q. What is your perception of Djokovic? Over the years he was joking, doing impersonations, this and that. He’s still very funny, but he seems to have tried to tone down a little bit maybe. He’s playing very, very, very well now. What is your relationship with him? What do you think the perception of him among the players is?

RAFAEL NADAL: My relationship with him always was fantastic. We are close. I think he’s a funny guy, but he’s not playing now better because he’s not doing his imitations or these things. That’s for sure. You know, always the people, when somebody is playing very well, try to found the things outside of the tennis. Seriously, the only thing what matters is what’s happen inside the court. Outside the court you can do imitations all the day, or you can do anything. You can’t go out every night, that’s for sure, no? But you can do anything. You can have a really normal life and play very well or play very bad. That doesn’t affect inside the court.

What he’s doing well is he’s playing with confidence. His level probably is not much higher than three years ago or two years ago or one year ago. I always saw him as fantastic player. His potential always was very, very high. Everybody knows how good is him, and he can do what he’s doing now. He started the season like in 2008 and was the same. So is nothing new. We will see what’s going on. I think he’s a very complete player because he can play on all of the surfaces very good, and that’s an advantage. He started better than possible, so he’s in a very good position.
But the season always is long, and we will see what is going on.

Q. Novak recently joined Twitter. You’re very present on Facebook. Do you have any plans to join Twitter?

RAFAEL NADAL: Not for the moment. I happy with the Facebook. I don’t know. No, for me is enough for the moment.

Q. I want to ask you also about the Bacardi, the thing you’re involved in with drinking responsibly. Can you talk about that? I wasn’t at the event, but can you just tell us a little about that, the campaign.

RAFAEL NADAL: I think is a very important social campaign, especially I think for everybody, but for the young people more. The campaign is champions drink responsibly, but is a social campaign about if you have to go out, have a plan how to come back home safely. Is a campaign about if you go out, you don’t need to drink crazy. You can drink few glasses of alcohol, but drink alcohol‑free and drink water. Is important quality than quantity. That is the campaign, no? For sure I think everybody knows when you go out and you go for party with your friends, alcohol is part of that, part of the night. But sometimes seems like you go out and you have to drink like crazy. In my opinion, that’s not like this. That’s the campaign. I think it’s important campaign. I’m very happy to be the ambassador.

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