Week two of the Tennis Masters Indian Wells gets underway today with another big schedule. Rafael Nadal, Robin Soderling, Juan Martin Del Potro and Fernando Verdasco are the top men, while the women are led by blond beauty queens Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova.
Two-time champion Nadal is on late in the afternoon against qualifier Ryan Sweeting, he of the good serve and bad forehand. While Nadal should have an easy day, his main top half rivals figure to be tested.
Soderling will be likely be pushed by Phil Kohlschreiber. Verdasco meets Sam Queerey in a pretty even match of two players desperate for a win. And in the match of the day Del Potro faces Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Another good one involves Ivo Karlovic and Gilles Simon. Roger Federer is also in doubles action – Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are won their second round doubles yesterday.
Speaking of Federer, the three-time champ took out Igor Andreev 7-5, 7-6(4). It was wasn’t easy but Federer said he was pleased with the result.
“I thought it was another tough match against him,” said Federer who improves to 4-0 career vs. the Russian. “Even though I felt always kind of in control in the first set, even though I was down 5-4, I felt I was in the match quickly against him, which maybe in the past wasn’t always the case because he’s got a lot of spin, and, you know, he’s got a lot of pace. So I was able to handle that better today, I thought.”
The big storyline on Sunday was the continued rise of the young stars. Canadian Milos Raonic saved a ton of break points to score another straight-set win over Mardy Fish beating the American 7-5, 6-4.
“I’m hungry for the wins,” said Raonic who beat Fish in Memphis. “I want to win as much as possible. I want to reach new limits. I want to keep improving. By winning today, especially here with a day in between, it’s a good thing. I have a chance to recover fully and sort of treat and now come back in two days sort of hoping to play better, hoping to serve better, and hoping to feel better.”
Roanic now meets 18-year-old American Ryan Harrison in what could be a future preview of a Grand Slam final. Harrison ousted Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 7-6.
“I’m obviously extremely excited right now,” Harrison said. “I felt like I did a couple things very well today; couple things I could have done better. But all in all, I played well in the big points. He had plenty of chances. There in the second set he could have knocked me out and got into a third, but I was able to hang tough and put myself in a position to where in the tiebreaker he missed a pretty simple forehand after we had a really long point, and that was all the mini break I needed. I was able to hold it out from there.”
Harrison and Raonic has never met on the pro tour, but Harrison did have the edge in juniors 2-1.
“He’s a fighter, he’s feeling good, he’s gonna go for his shots, he’s gonna play, and he’s gonna do a lot of things,” Raonic said of Harrison. “I haven’t had too much time to think about it.”
Novak Djokovic was also an easy winner last night breezing past Andrey Golubev 6-0, 6-4.
“It was great start of the tournament,” said Djokovic who is 13-0 on the season with 15 straight wins. “With those first matches you don’t know what to expect… I really tested myself today, because I had Golubev, who is coming up from big Davis Cup wins, and he’s a very good player. He showed that in the second set. He started hitting the ball from the baseline really hard. But I was in the control most of the match. I am really happy with the way I was playing. I want to keep on moving.”
Andy Roddick, Stan Wawrinka, John Isner and Tomas Berdych were other winners on Sunday.
In the women’s third round play, Dominika Cilbulkova upset Vera Zvonareva 4-6, 7-6(4), 64. Top seed Kim Clijsters avoided the upset turning away Sara Errani in three sets, and Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic booked a fourth round meeting after each won straight set matches.
Today Wozniacki meets Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, Sharapova will battle birthday girl (24) Aravane Rezai and Sam Stosur tests Dinara Safina who said that she contemplated retiring from the tour last month.
Matches begin at 2pm ET on the Tennis Channel.
MONDAY INDIAN WELLS SCHEDULE
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
 C Wozniacki (DEN) vs  M Martinez Sanchez (ESP) – WTA
 R Soderling (SWE) vs  P Kohlschreiber (GER) – ATP
Not Before 2:30 PM
 A Rezai (FRA) vs  M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA
 R Nadal (ESP) vs [Q] R Sweeting (USA) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
 S Stosur (AUS) vs D Safina (RUS) – WTA
Not Before 8:30 PM
 F Verdasco (ESP) vs  S Querrey (USA) – ATP
STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
 T Robredo (ESP) vs [Q] D Young (USA) – ATP
 N Almagro (ESP) vs  A Montanes (ESP) – ATP
 A Dolgopolov (UKR) vs J Del Potro (ARG) – ATP
Not Before 4:30 PM
[WC] C Mchale (USA) vs  N Petrova (RUS) – WTA
J Benneteau (FRA) / R Gasquet (FRA) vs R Federer (SUI) / S Wawrinka (SUI) – ATP
STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am
 A Radwanska (POL) vs  M Kirilenko (RUS) – WTA
U Radwanska (POL) vs  V Azarenka (BLR) – WTA
[Q] S Devvarman (IND) vs X Malisse (BEL) – ATP
 G Simon (FRA) vs I Karlovic (CRO) – ATP
[Q] L Hradecka (CZE) vs S Peng (CHN) – WTA
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