ATP Tour

Nadal opens with emphatic win

2015-03-28 07:44
Rafael Nadal (AFP)

Miami - Second-seeded Rafael Nadal launched his bid for a first Miami Masters title on Friday with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro.

Nadal, who has four runner-up finishes in 10 prior appearances on the hardcourts of Miami, showed no signs of the training mishap which left him with a sore ankle and threatened to compromise his start.

"I think I did the things well when I had to do. I played with no mistakes in the important points," said Nadal. "The wind was really high, it was very difficult to find a positive feeling on court.

"I played a solid match. I played well, I had a good movement. I had some good winners, Almagro was not an easy opponent."

Nadal said that his ankle is not fully healed, but is tolerable.

"The day (he injured it, Monday) I had pain, But after two days I improved 50 percent and it stays the same. It's not limiting my movements."

Nadal took 52 minutes to win the opening set, with the first four games taking 23 minutes. But his early break of Almagro proved enough to take the set.

Nadal quickened his pace in the second, breaking Almagro twice and securing the win on his first match point to book a third-round berth.

He was done and dusted before rain moved in and delayed the start of the night session, which was to feature world number one Serena Williams launching her bid for an eighth Miami title with a second-round match against Monica Niculescu.

Nadal won his 35th Miami match against nine defeats -- including a loss to Novak Djokovic in last year's final.

Two-time champion Andy Murray also reached the third round, backing up his recent Davis Cup win over Donald Young with a 6-4, 6-2 win over the American.

Murray, seeded third, has defeated Young in five of six meetings, including in last month's Davis Cup first-round date in Glasgow.

The Scot, who won titles at the town he uses as a training base in 2009 and 2013, mustered just 14 winners and hit 21 unforced errors, but it was enough compared to the 32 unforced errors from Young in the match played in draining heat and humidity.

The victory took less than 90 minutes and put Murray into a third-round meeting with Colombia's Santiago Giraldo, who beat Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-2, 3-6, 6-0.

"The heat was OK and the wind obviously cooled you down a little bit at the end changes," said the former Wimbledon and US Open champion. "It was just very tough weather to play good tennis in. So I just tried to play smart, and it worked."

Swiss seventh seed Stan Wawrinka needed a fightback to overpower Argentine Carlos Berlocq 6-7 (9/11), 7-5, 6-2, while eighth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over South Korea's Chung Hyeon.

Austrian Dominic Thiem beat Spain's 10th seed Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-3 while South African 15th seed Kevin Anderson defeated Sam Querrey 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.

Australian Bernard Tomic shook off effects of last week's wisdom tooth trouble and back pain at Indian Wells -- which forced him to forfeit a match - posting a 7-6 (8/6), 7-5 victory over American Austin Krajicek.

Women's third seed Simona Halep pulled herself together after dropping the second set to earn a 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 victory over Czech Nicole Vaidisova.

The Romanian, who won the biggest title of her career on Sunday when she lifted the WTA premier level trophy at Indian Wells, was stunned in the second set by the 25-year-old Vaidisova, who retired in 2010 but is now making a return to the WTA which began late last year.

Although Halep was broken while serving for a three-set win at 5-0 in the third, she promptly broke back to secure victory in 92 minutes with 17 winners and 27 unforced errors.

Fifth seed Ana Ivanovic defeated Irina Falconi 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3. Swede Johanna Larsson surprised Czech 10th seed Lucie Safarova with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-2.

Results on Friday from the fourth day of the ATP and WTA Miami Open (x denotes seeded player):


2nd rd

Catherine Bellis (USA) bt Zarina Diyas (KAZ x29) 6-2, 6-1

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x24) bt Alison Riske (USA) 6-2, 6-2

Garbine Muguruza (ESP x21) bt Sesil Karatantcheva (BUL) 6-1, 6-3

Sabine Lisicki (GER x27) bt Julia Goerges (GER) 7-6 (7/1), 6-7 (5/7), 6-4

Ana Ivanovic (SRB x5) bt Irina Falconi (USA) 7-5, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3

Simona Halep (ROM x3) bt Nicole Vaidisova (CZE) 6-4, 2-6, 6-1

Camila Giorgi (ITA x30) bt Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 6-3, 6-2

Victoria Azarenka (BLR) bt Jelena Jankovic (SRB x20) 6-1, 6-1

Flavia Pennetta (ITA x15) bt Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 6-7 (1/7), 6-3, 6-3

Johanna Larsson (SWE) bt Lucie Safarova (CZE x10) 7-6 (7/5), 6-2

Sloane Stephens (USA) bt Madison Keys (USA x17) 6-4, 6-2

Belinda Bencic (SUI) bt Casey Dellacqua (AUS x32) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2


2nd rd

Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x7) bt Carlos Berlocq (ARG) 6-7 (9/11), 7-5, 6-2

Dominic Thiem (AUT) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP x10) 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-3

Kevin Anderson (RSA x15) bt Sam Querrey (USA) 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/3), 6-4

Leonardo Mayer (ARG x24) bt Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)

Santiago Giraldo (COL x27) bt Robin Haase (NED) 6-2, 3-6, 6-0

Andy Murray (GBR x3) bt Donald Young (USA) 6-4, 6-2

Tomas Berdych (CZE x8) bt Chung Hyeon (KOR) 6-3, 6-4

Bernard Tomic (AUS) bt Austin Krajicek (USA) 7-6 (8/6), 7-5

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 6-4, 6-4

Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 6-4, 6-2

Read more on:    miami open  |  rafael nadal  |  tennis

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