Sun, Mar 23, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Federer, Djokovic open with triumphs at Miami

AFP, MIAMI

Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns to Jeremy Chardy of France during their second-round match at the Sony Open tennis tournament on Key Biscayne in Florida on Friday.

Photo: EPA

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic began their campaigns at the WTA and ATP Miami Masters on Friday with straight-set wins, five days after facing off in the Indian Wells final.

Two-time Miami champion Federer played steady, controlled tennis for a 6-4 7-6 (7/4) defeat of Ivo Karlovic for a third-round spot.

Second-seed Djokovic, winner of the Indian Wells trophy over his Swiss rival last weekend in California, eased past Jeremy Chardy, 6-4, 6-3.

France’s Chardy delayed the inevitable ahead of the final game, taking a medical timeout after hobbling to a courtside entry tunnel with an ankle problem.

As Djokovic fidgeted with practice serves, Chardy returned to take his medicine, with the three-time champion Serb advancing with three aces in the concluding game.

Fifth-seed Federer, now 11-1 all-time against Karlovic, was impeccable in the opening set, losing his only point on serve as he stood 5-4, 40-0 moments before serving out the opener.

A winning tie-break in the second finally made the difference for Federer, now 42-12 in Miami, with titles in 2005 and 2006.

“I made sure I had a lot of first serves in, made sure I stayed aggressive from the baseline,” the Swiss said. “I think it worked really well, hardly any unforced errors.”

“I was able to move Ivo around, and I was able to maintain that throughout the match, which was key. I could focus a bit on returning while then holding serve, which is important against Ivo,” he said.

Federer missed the tournament a year ago as he rested with back pain, but has turned this year’s season around after a low-key one last year.

He withstood 13 aces from the big-hitting Croatian in the 74-minute win.

Spanish fourth-seed David Ferrer made a winning comeback after missing Indian Wells with injury, defeating Teimuraz Gabashvili 6-4, 6-0

French ninth-seed Richard Gasquet reached the third round over Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia, winning 7-6 (9/7), 6-4.

South African Kevin Anderson, the 17th seed, beat Horacio Zeballos of Argentina 6-4, 6-3, while German Florian Mayer, the 30th seed, defeated Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-3, 6-2.

China’s Li Na reached the third round on the women’s side as intended opponent Alisa Kleybanova withdrew with viral illness before their match.

The result sends the second seed into a contest against American Madison Keys, who beat Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 6-2.

Two seeds lost in upsets as American Varvara Lepchenko put out seventh-seeded Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7/2) and Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova beat No. 13 Italian Roberta Vinci, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5.

Australian Open runner-up and 10th-seed Dominika Cibulkova defeated Yvonne Meusburger 6-1, 6-2.

Elina Svitolina won her third match over Australian Open semi-finalist Eugenie Bouchard, the 18th-seed, 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 after losing to the Canadian in the 2012 junior Wimbledon final.

France’s Alize Cornet beat Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-7 (0/7), 6-4 as the frustrated German drop-kicked a racquet some considerable distance during a moment of anger.

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