Somdev knocks out Malisse to set up Nadal clash

Tennis Indian Wells

Nadal had little trouble against Ryan Sweeting on the showpiece stadium court, disposing the American qualifier with an effortless 6-3, 6-1 victory.

Somdev, who is playing his third main draw here, was down 2-5 in the tie break when he reeled off five points to win the hard-fought match at the BNP Paribas Open in two hours.
The 26-year-old India No 1, ranked 84, who had never won a Masters 1000 match before coming here, beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino and then upset 19th seed and World No 22 Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in his first two rounds.

Somdev, who played the Chennai Open final in 2009 and the South African open final last month, won the first set against the 2007 Chennai winner comfortably, but the Belgian came back strongly in the second to force the issue to a decider.

The Indian, the Commonwealth and the Asian Games gold medallist, was at the exit door when Malisse jumped to 5-2 in the tiebreak. However, Somdev hung in to take five points in a row to clinch the set and match. 

Swede Robin Soderling bemoaned his stupidity for playing with an injury after becoming the highest-seeded casualty.

Fourth seed Soderling, one of the form players on the ATP Tour this year with three titles to his name, was hampered by his left foot before being eliminated 7-6, 6-4 by German Philipp Kohlschreiber.

In other matches, big-serving American Sam Querrey upset ninth-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 6-4 and former US. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina beat 20th-seeded Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 7-6, 6-3.

In the women’s competition, a jubilant Dinara Safina upsetfourth-seeded Samantha Stosur 7-6, 6-4 in the third round.

Safina will next meet compatriot Maria Sharapova, a 6-2 6-2 winner against 20th-seeded Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai.

Top seed Caroline Wozniacki beat Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez with a ruthless 6-1, 6-3 demolition.

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