Nadal, Serena sparkle in winning Miami openers
World number ones Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams advanced to the third round of the ATP and WTA Miami hardcourt tournament on Saturday with impressive straight-set triumphs.sports Updated: Mar 29, 2009 07:44 IST
World number ones Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams advanced to the third round of the ATP and WTA Miami hardcourt tournament on Saturday with impressive straight-set triumphs.
Nadal dismissed 72nd-ranked Teimuraz Gabshvili of Russia 6-2, 6-2 while Williams, a two-time defending champion seeking her sixth title in eight years at this nine million-dollar event, beat fellow American Alexa Glatch 6-2, 6-3.
Also advancing after first-round byes were reigning Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, the fifth seed, and British fourth seed Andy Murray.
Williams defeated Israel's Shahar Peer 6-3, 6-3, to sustain hopes for an all-Williams semi-final while Murray, who reached last week's final at Indian Wells, dispatched 59th-rated Juan Monaco of Argentina 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Nadal, who made just 10 unforced errors to 32 by Gabshvili, will next face Portugal's Frederico Gil, who ousted Croatian Ivo Karlovic 6-4, 6-4.
Nadal seeks a third title this season after capturing the year's Grand Slam start at the Australian Open and last week's event at Indian Wells.
Murray needed a comeback to pull through.
"I was finding it difficult," Murray said. "I don't tend to think the match is finished when you lose the first set but I knew it was going to be tricky. He was playing very well. I was struggling a little bit to get into a rhythm.
"He was getting into a lot of rallies and hitting the ball better than me from the baseline. I knew I needed to change something. I started going for my serve more and won a lot of free points. My serve was really the difference."
The Scotsman will next face Chile's Nicolas Massu, who battled back to defeat US 27th seed Mardy Fish 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2.
Serena Williams booked a third-round date against China's Peng Shuai while Venus Williams will next face Germany's Anna-Lena Gronenefeld, who defeated Italy's 30th-seeded Sara Errani 6-4, 6-3.
Serena Williams won her 10th Grand Slam title in January at the Australian Open and has three other semi-final runs this season. Improving to 48-5 at the event for her career, she shook off first-match nerves to defeat Glatch, 19.
"I played OK," Williams said. "I definitely think I could have played better. Just a little jitters going out there.
"Alexa played well. She has a really good game," Williams said. "She's really young, so she has a bright future."
Venus Williams trailed 0-3 before fighting back to win 12 of the final 15 games against Peer and stretch her win streak to 11 matches, including titles at Dubai and Acapulco.
"At that point I'm thinking I've got to get started," Venus Williams said. "It was only one break. And I haven't played in almost four weeks, so just a little bit of a slow start. But I always felt confident."
Now Venus hopes march through the bracket into what she hopes will be a semi-final sister act with Serena.
"She's obviously a great player and if I can beat her, then that means I'm on top of the game, so I hope we can meet in the semifinals," Venus Williams said.
First Published: Mar 29, 2009 07:36 IST