Defending champion Andy Roddick was sent out early at the Miami Tennis Masters yesterday courtesy of a 6-4, 7-6(4) defeat to little-known Pablo Cuevas in the second round.
The loss, however, was not without cause according to Roddick who complained of an illness afterward.
“I had a little trouble breathing out there today,” Roddick said. “I’ve had something for a little while, but I’m going to have it checked out when I get home.
I didn’t feel good all day. … I have had it dating back to Memphis off and on. That’s a little too long, I think. I don’t know. I don’t have anything more than that for you guys. … I mean, I have been coughing, but it hasn’t been affecting my or breathing or energy levels until last couple days. Cough is fine as long as you feel fine, you know, running and breathing and all that stuff.”
I’ll or not, Roddick has dropped his last two matches now after collapsing to Richard Gasquet at Indian Wells. The loss also means he’ll surrender 1,000 ATP points from his win a year ago which will send his ranking downward to 15 or lower. It also suggests he will need another Miami-like win to move back into the Top 10!
So have we seen the last of Andy Roddick in the Top 10? My guess is he’ll be back. As he said before, he has very little to defend in terms of points the rest of the year. However, he is sick again and he’s just not the player he once was.
The American does has one bright spot to come out of the month of March. After helping to beat Chile, his hometown of Austin was selected to host the July Davis Cup quarterfinal against Spain and Rafa Nadal.
With the last two defending champions now out – Roddick and Andy Murray on Friday – the odds that one of the top seeds Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will walk away with the Miami title only increases.
Last night, Nadal took care of youngster Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-4 to move into the third round where he’ll meet his buddy Feliciano Lopez.
“Was a difficult one for sure, yeah,” said Nadal who has never won Miami. “Nishikori is a very, very good player. Is one of these first rounds that you don’t want to see, I think. I’m very happy about how I played today. I think I played at high level tonight. The feeling was better than last week, so that’s important thing. The serve worked very well at the end of the match. In general, I think was a really complete match, because Nishikori for a moment was really good and was difficult.”
In the afternoon Federer dusted Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-3. The victory was Federer’s 762nd of his career which equals him with Pete Sampras.
“Look, sure, yes, it’s nice tying Pete, but he could have played for many more years,” Fed said. “He could still win some matches on tour now if he wanted to. Yeah, it’s a funny stat, but it shows how long I have been around already, how much I’ve won, you know, all around the world and all the different surfaces, and that I have played whatever, over 10, 12 solid seasons, you know. I’ve never missed big chunks of seasons. That’s how you end up with so many wins, I guess.”
Tomas Berdych, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Nicolas Almagro and Mikhail Youhzny were among the other second round winners on a busy Saturday.
Today, Djokovic will try to extend his win streak to 22 against James Blake in a night match. Blake, who could very well be playing his last Miami event, had a good win over Tomaz Bellucci in the first round but I don’t think he has the consistency to trouble Djokovic.
In the match of the day, Juan Martin Del Potro will battle Robin Soderling. As I said at the start of the event, the Miami tournament has a heavy South American appeal so I’m sticking with Delpo to get the win. The Argentine also leads 2-1 over Soderling beating the Swede twice on hardcourts in 2009.
Mardy Fish is also on against Richard Gasquet and Sam Querrey meets Victor Troicki in a good one.
The women’s field today is highlighted by Kim Clijsters and French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.
Matches are again on the Tennis Channel with live streaming on the official ATP site.
MIAMI SUNDAY SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 11:00 am
 M Fish (USA) vs  R Gasquet (FRA) – ATP
Not Before 1:00 PM
 F Schiavone (ITA) vs L Dominguez Lino (ESP) – WTA
Not Before 3:00 PM
 M Martinez Sanchez (ESP) vs  K Clijsters (BEL) – WTA
J Del Potro (ARG) vs  R Soderling (SWE) – ATP
Not Before 7:30 PM
 V Azarenka (BLR) vs  D Cibulkova (SVK) – WTA
Not Before 9:30 PM
[WC] J Blake (USA) vs  N Djokovic (SRB) – ATP
GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
K Anderson (RSA) vs P Andujar (ESP) – ATP
 D Ferrer (ESP) vs S Devvarman (IND) – ATP
[Q] A Bogomolov Jr. (USA) vs  J Isner (USA) – ATP
 J Groth (AUS) vs  V Zvonareva (RUS) – WTA
Not Before 5:00 PM
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [WC] R Harrison (USA) / J Sock (USA) – ATP
COURT 1 start 10:00 am
 R Lindstedt (SWE) / H Tecau (ROU) vs S Aspelin (SWE) / J Knowle (AUT) – ATP
Not Before 11:30 AM
V Razzano (FRA) vs  A Ivanovic (SRB) – WTA
 M Bhupathi (IND) / L Paes (IND) vs E Butorac (USA) / J Rojer (AHO) – ATP
 I Benesova (CZE) / B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) vs [WC] A Ivanovic (SRB) / A Petkovic (GER) – WTA
 A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs  P Kvitova (CZE) – WTA
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Miami Mess: Berdych, Nishikori Withdraw Sending Nadal, Djokovic To 40th Meeting Sunday