Fiery Nadal brushes Hewitt aside

Last Updated 23 March 2014, 17:23 IST

World number one Rafael Nadal launched his bid for one of the few titles to elude him by crushing Australian Lleyton Hewitt 6-1, 6-3 on Saturday to reach the third round of the Sony Open.

The Spaniard has won 62 titles, including 13 Grand Slams and 25 Masters series events, but a victory on the Miami hardcourts is not among them.

Three times Nadal has made it to the Miami final and the Spaniard served noticed that he plans to be back there again after disposing of Hewitt in just over an hour.

World No 2 Novak Djokovic, a three-time winner in Miami, did not play on Saturday but became the first player through to the fourth round when his scheduled opponent Florian Mayer pulled out with a groin injury. Seventh seeded Czech Tomas Berdych joined Wawrinka in the third round by dispatching Frenchman Stephane Robert 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 while big-hitting Croatian Marin Cilic, the 25th seed, was  shown the exit by Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).

John Isner continued to carry the American flag, battling back for a 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-4 win over compatriot Donald Young. Isner was left the last American man standing after Canada's big-hitting Milos Raonic, seeded 12th, dispatched Jack Sock 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) and Sam Querry was dismissed 6-4, 6-4 by Spaniard Nicolas Almagro.

World No 1 Serena Williams battled her way into the fourth round of the women’s competition with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win over Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia on Saturday but the six-time champion hardly looked at home on the Miami hardcourts calling her effort unprofessional.Fourth seed Maria Sharapova was more up beat about her performance coming out on top in a tough three-hour, three set battle with 26th seeded Czech Lucie Safarova 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 6-2.

In other action, fifth seeded German Angelique Kerber raced into the fourth round with a 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova while ninth seed Sara Errani of Italy was stopped 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 by 23rd-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova.

Ana Ivanovic ousted Flavia Pennetta 6-4, 6-3 while  Petra Kvitova posted a 6-3, 6-4 win over Croatian Donna Vekic.

Bhupathi exitsMahesh Bhupathi and his South African partner Kevin Anderson lost to  Alexander Peya of Austria and Bruno Soares of Brazil  4-6, 6-4, 6-10. Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi won their second round match against  Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-2.

(Published 23 March 2014, 17:23 IST)

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