Somdev, Sania post victories

Argentine Del Potro progresses with convincing win over Mello

Somdev Devvarman returns during his win over Potito Starace of Italy in the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament on Wednesday. AFP

Ranked 73 in ATP charts, Somdev downed world number 47 Potito Starace of Italy 6-2, 6-4 in his opening round of the ATP Masters event.

Qualifier Sania, ranked 99, defeated Spanish world number 62 Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-2, 6-4 in WTA premier event.

Somdev, who showed lot of fighting spirit against world no 1 Rafael Nadal last week at the Indian Wells, continued his good run of form to advance to the next stage of the tournament with straight sets victory.

Somdev will clash with Canadian world number 34 Milos Raonic, seeded 31, in his second round and if he manages to get past him, he could have a match against world number six David Ferrer in the third round.

Sania has a tough second round ahead as she is up against 24th seed Russian Maria Kirilenko.

Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina scored a comfortable 6-4, 6-4 win over Brazilian Ricardo Mello in the first round.

Also advancing from the men’s section were American James Blake and Igor Andreev of Russia.

In the women’s section, Russia’s Dinara Safina and Japan’s Kimiko Date-Krummmade it to the second round with convincing wins.

Former world number one Safina eased past Jelena Dokic of Australia 6-4, 6-4 while Kimiko outplayed Zuzana Ondraskova of Czech Republic 6-4, 6-3.

Results (first round): Men's singles: James Blake (US) bt Michael Russell (US) 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(3); Igor Kunitsyn (Rus) bt Robert Kendrick (US) 5-4  (Kendrick retired); Igor Andreev (Rus) bt Santiago Giraldo (Col) 6-1, 2-6, 6-1; Juan Martin Del Potro (Arg) bt Ricardo Mello (Bra) 6-4, 6-4; Marsel Ilhan (Tur) bt Tobias Kamke (Ger) 6-2, 6-1; Somdev Devvarman (Ind) bt Potito Starace (Ita) 6-2, 6-4; Xavier Malisse (Bel) bt Ryan Sweeting (US) 7-6(3), 6-4; Marcel Granollers (Spa) bt Benjamin Becker (Ger) 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-4; Paolo Lorenzi (Ita) bt Ivan Ljubicic (Cro) 7-6(7), 6-1; Kevin Anderson (SA) bt Nikolay Davydenko (Rus) 6-4, 6-3.

Women's singles: Lucie Hradecka (Czech) bt Chan Yung-Jan (Tai) 7-5, 7-5; Dinara Safina (Rus) bt Jelena Dokic (Aus) 6-4, 6-4; Angelique Kerber (Ger) bt Edina Gallovits-Hall  (Rom) 6-4, 6-4; Sania Mirza (Ind) bt Arantxa Parra Santonja (Spa) 6-2, 6-4; Virginie Razzano (Fra) bt Alize Cornet (Fra) 6-3, 6-1; Agnes Szavay (Hun) bt Zhang Shuai (Chn) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2; Anabel Medina Garrigues (Spa) bt Ksenia Pervak (Rus) 6-1, 6-2; Kimiko Date-Krumm (Jap) bt Zuzana (Czech) 6-4, 6-3; Elena Vesnina (Rus) bt Gisela Dulko (Arg) 6-1, 6-3; Bethanie Mattek-Sands (US) bt Sofia Arvidsson (Swe) 6-1, 6-4; Peng Shuai (Chn) bt Greta Arn (Hun) 6-1, 6-2.        

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