Nadal, Ivanovic Fall Out at Miami; Williams Sisters On Monday
by Staff | March 30th, 2015, 12:22 am

An uncomfortable Rafael Nadal lost in three sets, and world No. 1 Serena Williams met the future on an eventful Sunday at the Miami Open.
“I was anxious on court,” Nadal said after a second straight career loss to Spanish countryman Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco. “I tried in every point, but I was not able to relax myself, calm myself.”

Verdasco denied Nadal another attempt at a first Miami Open title after the 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 upset.

“It’s a huge victory, and it’s always really nice to feel it in a packed stadium…and playing against one of the best players in history,” Verdasco said. “At the end, you just try to enjoy the moment.”

Nadal said he is still searching for confidence entering the claycourt season.

“Today, my game in general improved since a month and a half,” he said. “But at the same time, still playing with too many nerves in a lot of moments, in important moments.”

The 31-year-old Verdasco will next face Juan Monaco, who late night on Sunday beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-5, 6-4.

Top 10-seeded winners Sunday were No. 3 Andy Murray beating No. 27 Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-4, and No. 8 Tomas Berdych turning back an upset bid by No. 25 Bernard Tomic 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 6-1.

On the upset tip were No. 17 Geal Monfils ousting No. 11 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga [corrected] 6-4, 7-6(4) in an all-French meeting, and No. 28-seeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino shocking No. 7 Stan Wawrinka 7-6(4), 7-6(5).

Other winners on the day were No. 15 Kevin Anderson defeating No. 24 Leo Mayer 6-4, 6-4, and Dominic Thiem beating Jack Sock 6-4, 6-3.

On the women’s side in third-round play, the future of American tennis met reality, and it wasn’t pretty.

World No. 1 Serena Williams rolled over former junior world No. 1 and American wildcard CiCi Bellis 6-1, 6-1.

“It was tough,” said the 33-year-old William’s of the 15-year-old’s brief time on the big stage in Miami. “She’s young, and her being an American and her just doing so well, you want to see people like her do well. So when you’re up against them you have to kind of put that aside, even though I’m always cheering for her. But I have to put it aside and just play the match.”

It was the same age Serena made her debut as a pro, to similar results back then.

“I was pretty nervous,” Bellis said. “I mean, she’s No. 1 in the world and like the best of all time for a reason. But it was a really good experience for me for the future, and I’m glad I got to do it. I’m happy I got the chance to play her. It was an eye opener, for sure.”

Williams will next face No. 24 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, who came back from a break down in the third to upset No. 13 Angelique Kerber 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Another upset was No. 27 Sabine Lisicki edging No. 5 Ana Ivanovic 7-6(4), 7-5 in the women’s late match.

Other seeded winners on Sunday were No. 3 Simona Halep defeating No. 30 Camila Giorgi 6-4, 7-5; No. 11 Sara Errani coming from a set down to beat No. 21 Garbine Muguruza 4-6, 6-4, 6-1; and No. 15 Flavia Pennetta edging former No. 1 and unseeded Victoria Azarenka 7-6(5), 7-6(6).

Halep, in the fourth round at Miami for the first time, will next meet Pennetta who she is 0-3 career against.

“I came from Indian Wells, where I won the title, so I have more confidence now to win matches,” Halep said. “And I like to play here. But I’m just trying to stay focused and keep improving every match. I want to fight for every chance.”

Unseeded risers Belinda Bencic and Sloane Stephens set up a fourth-round meeting with wins when the Swiss topped German qualifier Tatjana Maria 6-4, 7-5, and the American  defeated Swede Johanna Larsson 6-4, 6-4.

Marquee matches to look for on Monday are (4) Caroline Wozniacki vs. (16) Venus Williams, (1) Serena Williams vs. (24) Svetlana Kuznetsova, (1) Novak Djokovic vs. (Q) Steve Darcis, (9) Grigor Dimitrov vs. (22) John Isner, and Sloane Stephens vs. Belinda Bencic.

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18 Comments for Nadal, Ivanovic Fall Out at Miami; Williams Sisters On Monday

Michael Says:

What is really happening to Rafa ? Another shocker and I am in disbelief !? Where is that indefatigable Rafa, the warrior, we know ??

I think he has lost the rhythm, focus, confidence and intensity that is needed to win matches. Players like Verdasco whom he will beat 10 out of 10 are giving him trouble today. He lost to Berdych earlier and that too with a bagle in one set. And after his come back, many of the tournaments, he has not been able to reach even the final stages. Still watching his game, I feel that he is playing well except that he is making some uncharacteristic errors at the wrong moment. His foot work appears tentative and he looks slightly jittery on crucial points that he over hits or mis hits.

I think Rafa will give a real push during the clay season to make amends. He is not a player who can lie low for so long and he would be eager to come back with a bang. Let us hope for the best !!!!!

the DA Says:

I could’ve sworn Monfils beat Tsonga, not Simon.

Margot Says:

@the DA
Yep. Even Jo’s shorts couldn’t save him.;)
Andy is one match off the magic 500! Go Andy!
Only 36 players in the Open Era. Wowzer!

jane Says:

nice that andy should reach that milestone at miami, too, which is a key place for him and his success.

wilfried Says:

It should be :On the upset were Nr. 17 Gael Monfils ousting Nr.11 Tsonga…

Hippy Chick Says:

Nice picture of Rafa and Xisca….
Margot i hope we get a thread on Andys milestone….

Giles Says:

HC. That’s Rafa’s sister in the pic

RZ Says:

@Margot and HC – I’m looking forward to Andy’s 500th win, and hopefully it’ll come in Miami! I don’t think he’s scheduled for today. And not to worry Margot, I won’t watch. :-)

chris ford1 Says:

Old picture of Nadal and his sister Maria Isabela. Who has grown up since then, into a very nice looking young woman.

Daniel Says:

Roanoke got a tense match were he served for the match second set 5-4.

He is now 2 wins away from a career high ranking #4, 1 win away from Quarters with Kei.
Kei is 1 win away from returning to #4 and moving Nadal back to #5 entering clay season.

Djoko next on center court.

Daniel Says:

kkk sorry, Raonic…

Daniel Says:

Djoko in killer form today, 5-0. Darcis will have a tough time making games in this match.

Hippy Chick Says:

Right Giles sorry….

El_Flaco Says:

I didn’t realize Tipsarevic played in the dubs with Djokovic.

Daniel Says:

Darcis slice to Djoko’s BH bothering him and he was broken. Darvis serve for the set but Djoko hit another gear and broke to love with a BH DTL return winner. Now serving 40-0 at 5-5.

mat4 Says:


Novak plays Dolgo in the next round, a player that knows how to slice, and I was impressed by his victory against Robredo a few rounds ago. So, won’t be an easy match. At least, Novak is prepared for what’s waiting ahead, so this match could help him. Then he has probably Ferrer — if he wins, of course — and, in my opinion, Nishikori. A lot of baseline tennis in front of him. Hope that he will play better. Says:

Ferrer vs Simon? That’ll be an exciting match! said no one, ever.

Daniel Says:


Assuming he passes Dolgopolov, Ferrer match would be just what the doctor orders for him getting baseine rallies.
Today Darcis was denying him rhytm and Dolgo is also a strange match. Ferrer would be perfect for Kei. But if it is Raonic or Isner (who just beat Dimitrov) it can be bad forma potential Murray final.

Dimitrov is not delivering at all. This year was suppose to be a moving year for him but he is losing matches he should win.

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