Somdev sets up Djokovic clash
India’s top singles player Somdev Devvarman outlasted Frenchman Edourado Roger-Vasselin over three sets and will next play top seed and World No 1 Novak Djokovic in the third round of the Miami Masters here.
The Indian beat Roger-Vasselin, who made it to the main draw as Lucky Loser after the 30th seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain pulled out, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 20 minutes on Friday night.
Somdev, ranked 254 after missing much of last year’s action on the Tour owing a shoulder injury, was a cut above Roger-Vasselin, who is ranked 80.
Djokovic, playing in the late night match, cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Lukas Rosol.
India’s Mahesh Bhupathi and his partner Daniel Nestor of Bahamas advanced to the second round of the men’s doubles event after a hard-fought 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 victory over Richard Gasquet and Roger-Vasselin. They next play Spaniard Nicolas Almagro and his Austrian partner Oliver Marach, who beat Colombian Juan Sebastian Cabal and his Mexican partner Santiago Gonzalez 6-3, 6-4, in their first round match.
Another Indian, Leander Paes, and his French partner Michael Llodra, seeded seventh, have also advanced in the second round after defeating Germany’s Christopher Kas and Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-5.
Maria Sharapova survived unscathed but the tournament lost two Grand Slam champions on Friday when Victoria Azarenka and Juan Martin del Potro exited.
Azarenka withdrew from her opening match because of an ankle injury she suffered playing at Indian Wells last week. Sharapova romped to a 6-2, 6-0 win over Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard.
Former US Open champion Del Potro suffered a surprise 7-6, 6-1 loss to Germany's Tobias Kamke.
The towering Argentine had two set points in the opening set but lost his way just a week after making the men’s final at Indian Wells.
Spain's David Ferrer, the men's third seed, had an easier time after winning a walkover when Dmitry Tursunov pulled out.