Nadal Breezes, Sharapova Scraps; All-Star Tues. at Sony Open Miami
by Staff | March 24th, 2014, 11:59 pm

Will Maria Sharapova ever win a Sony Open title in Miami?

The Russian, 0-5 in career finals at the event, scrapped to stay alive for another chance when she reached the quarterfinals with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over Belgian Kristen Flipkens on Monday.

“I usually like playing first match on, but I didn’t start off the way I wanted to,” said Sharapova, the No. 4 seed after winning her second three-set match in a row in morning play. “Nothing was working. She’s a different type of opponent. Not too many girls hit a slice backhand 90 percent of the time in the rallies. I played her already this year, so I knew what to expect from her game, it should not have been that much of a surprise.”

Last year Sharapova lost her third Miami final in a row to Serena Williams. On Monday the younger Williams sister had her game face on, and unlike Sharapova she breezed into the quarters after a 6-3, 6-1 win over fellow American and qualifier Coco Vandeweghe.

Sharapova will next meet No. 8 seed Petra Kvitova, who came from a set down on Monday to roll No. 12 Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 6-0, 6-0.

Serena Williams will next face No. 5 Angie Kerber, who defeated No. 23 Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

Also in the winner’s circle Monday were No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska who outlasted the Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-2; No. 2 Na Li who strolled past No. 15 Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0, 6-2; No. 11 Caroline Wozniacki who walloped American Varvara Lepchenko 6-0, 6-1; and in the late match No. 10 Dominika Cibulkova stopped a comeback attempt by No. 29 Venus Williams 6-1, 5-7, 6-3.

On the men’s side Rafael Nadal showed why he currently resides on the top perch in men’s tennis, decimating Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 6-1, 6-0.

“I played a very complete match,” he said. “No mistakes, serving with good per centage, and playing a lot of winners. My movements were better than what I did last events.”

Like Sharapova, Nadal’s career has seen a Miami draught, going 0-3 in career finals at the Sony Open. He will next meet No. 14 seed Fabio Fognini, who defeated Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

“He’s able to hit winners from every part of the court,” Nadal said of Fognini, who he holds a 3-0 career advantage over. “He’s an opponent sometimes that can be unpredictable, and it’s difficult to play against these kind of players, especially when they are playing well, and Fognini is playing well.”

No. 3 seed and Aussie Open winner Stan Wawrinka was also a winner after a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin, setting up a meeting with No. 22 Alexandr Dolgopolov, the No. 22 seed, who beat lucky loser Dusan Lajovic 3-6, 6-0, 7-6(5).

“[It’s] going to be a tough match,” Wawrinka said. “He’s a tricky player. He can serve really well. He’s moving well. He can play really fast.”

No. 12 seed Milos Raonic beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-1, 6-2 in 57 minutes to set up a meeting with Benjamin Becker, who defeated Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 7-5. The last remaining American, No. 10 seed John Isner, was a 7-5, 6-3 winner over No. 18 seed Nicolas Almagro. He will next meet No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych, who dispatched of Joao Sousa 6-2, 6-4.

Tuesday Schedule:

[16] Tommy Robredo (ESP) vs. [2] Novak Djokovic (SRB)
[4] Maria Sharapova (RUS) vs. [8] Petra Kvitova (CZE)
[6] Andy Murray (GBR) vs. [11] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
[5] Roger Federer (SUI) vs. [9] Richard Gasquet (FRA)
[1] Serena Williams (USA) vs. [5] Angelique Kerber (GER)
[1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. [14] Fabio Fognini (ITA)
[20] Kei Nishikori vs. [4] David Ferrer (ESP)
[3] Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) vs. [22] Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR)
[12] Milos Raonic (CAN) vs. [LL] Benjamin Becker (GER)
John Isner (USA) vs. [7] Tomas Berdych (CZE)

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47 Comments for Nadal Breezes, Sharapova Scraps; All-Star Tues. at Sony Open Miami

Dc Says:

Nadal, fed , Nole , wawarinka; all look in great form. I would like fed to win, but in AO as well as Indian wells, he wasn’t able to sustain his form against nadal or Nole.
Whoever wins , it’s going to be an awsome next few days for the tennis fans

Steve 27 Says:

I want a Andy Nole qf match.
Let see if Rafa after 2005, 2008 and 2011 finals, can win this time.

salleh ahmed Says:

Nadal wont win anything significant this season #boldprediction

Jose Felciano Says:

serious back injuries don’t heal this quick…..too bad nadal career will always be under shadow of gamesmanship

metan Says:

salleh ahmad,
Are you new Jamie??. 😁

metan Says:

Jose Felciano,
Hallo Docter, no need to advertise your diagnose on every thread , no body believe it .😜😜😜

rafaeli Says:

Jose Felciano Says:
serious back injuries don’t heal this quick…..too bad Nadal career will always be under shadow of gamesmanship

March 25th, 2014 at 2:23 am

This is the GoTo for Nadal haters when he lets his racquet do the talking.

van orten Says:

I would not say he could not sustain vs nole in iw. he lost 7:6 in the third. a few points in the middle of the second chance played a bit differently and he would have won. but formwise it was ok

nadalista Says:


Boy, did he let his racquet do the talking last night! Hope he continues in this rich vein of form……

Hippy Chic Says:

Rafaeli @4.41am well said,i agree with you for once..

Sivaji Says:

So Nadal was in final of Miami for every 3 yr once
2005, 2008 and 2011. will it be in 2014?.

Hippy Chic Says:

It looks like Murray(fingers crossed)is finally finding his A game,which for me as a fan is great news,and hopefully bad news for the other players in that half of the draw,go Muzza..

volley Says:

now here is an interesting quote from a federer interview today

“I don’t want to say this in a cocky way but I believe I worked the hardest from the top eight in the off-season.”

how could he know such a thing? did he have spies in the other players’ camps?

you never sound cocky roger ._.

Gordon Says:

Well Miami has been more to form as opposed to Indian Wells.

Of the 16 guys left, the two holes left by pulled out seeds Haas and Del Potro gives us lucky loser Becker and Dolgopolov (22) into the fourth round in the top half of the draw.

In the bottom half of the draw, only the mild upset of Nishikori (20) over Dimitrov has prevented all 8 top seeds from getting this far.

Becker is making the most of his ‘lucky loser’ status. He goes from failing to qualify to reaching the fourth round. Even in Raonic ends his run today (which is likely) Becker’s 98 points will move him up from 98 in the world to around 69, so he won’t have to qualify for any more slams for a while. Should he find a way to beat Raonic he would not have to qualify for any more Master 1000s for the rest if the year. Quite the incentive, but I think Raonic is playing too well and Becker’s run ends today.

Gordon Says:

Hippy Chic – you are right; Murray is starting to look solid and I would be shocked if Tsonga gave him a lot of trouble.

It was also good to see Lendl in attendance watching Murray’s match. Obviously they parted on good terms, as they said.

The prospect of a Djokovic – Murray QF is exciting, no?

the DA Says:

What a line up today. Pity there’s a 60% chance of rain. On stadium court the players have a total of 66 slams.

Hippy Chic Says:

Gordon thanks for the feedback,i hope im right,Tsonga was lucky against Baggy,who IMO had no buisness in losing that match TBH,indeed i would look forward to a match up between Andy and Novak,Andy has the game to trouble Novak,on any surface except for clay,im after a long awaited Rafa/Andy final at some point..

Perfect fan Says:

andy-tsonga match could be enticing….provided andy is just getting into his groove, if not his 100% yet and tsonga is very unpredictable and a dangerous floater.

If tsonga went his merry go way as usual….could be andy in straights. but if he got annoyed with something and got angry….he may serve enough cannon balls to trouble murray. But, I ve always felt that tsonga matches up well against nole compared to andy….with andy he don’t feel that comfy and that could be an adv to andy.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Looking for Kei to get thru Ferrer. Should be interesting match. Pretty much similar players.

Michael Says:

It was a marauding Rafa out there who murdered Estomin on the court. I find him in heavy top form and I wonder who can stop him in this tournament ? May be Novak !? Nevertheless, the tournament is reaching the interesting stage and we can sure expect fire works from here on.

Colin Says:

A sad, error-strewn performance by Tsonga, who certainly didn’t look like a Number 11.

So, a win for Murray, but he was seriously bothered during the match, apparently with back trouble. If his back is letting him down, he won’t be able to mount a challenge to Nole, and his further prospects this year could be in question.

Gordon Says:

Murray and Nole: their first meeting since the two GS Finals last year (Djokovic winning the AO and Murray triumphing in Wimbledon). One of the QFs all were looking for.

With last year’s finalist Ferrer losing in the 4th round Federer will switch places with him and be ranked no lower than 4, meaning he can’t meet Rafa or Nole before the semis in the next string of tournaments.

Federer should handle Gasquet. The last 3 matches Gasquet has not taken a set off of him. So if he does so he meets Nishikori, with the winner getting the winner of Nole/Murray. Again I write: Nice.

courbon Says:

This the first tournament in a long time where all BIG 4 ( original BIG4 ) are playing and all four are playing in the top form.Murray is definetelly back, Novak is very solid, Roger also and Nadal is scary good…I really don,t know who will win this one.Most likely Nadal.

the DA Says:

Tsonga was off but I saw some seriously good stuff from Andy today – despite the little back twinge drama. His returning was stunning today (he got 92% back). His CC FH was back in action. It had been missing since Acapulco. I think now he could at least give Nole a match, although I don’t think he’s ready to win yet.

Dolgo just took out Wawa in 3 sets. I caught some of the match. Dolly is spectacular when he’s on form. I think he makes the top 10 this year if he continues to play like this.

James Says:

Dolgo sends Wawrinka home with a breadstick in 3rd set.

Maestro Fed Says:

I agree.
In the present scenario if all of them play at their best Nadal could be the likely winner.

Gordon Says:

So neither Swiss played this tournament last year and we know Wawrinka is getting 90 points only, thanks to the dog man. That gives him a lead over Federer for the #3 world ranking of 695 points, meaning Federer could reclaim the number 3 spot, this week, but only if he wins the tournament on Sunday.

andrea Says:

dog’s on fire! he just scraped through the third set against lajovic yesterday…but he’s belting out winners from all over the place.

nadal has looked good but he’s coming up against more talented folk in the next few rounds.

poor tsonga. seems to have come off the rails as of late.

federer cruising against gasquet. bye bye first set.

courbon Says:

@Maestro Fed: With your moniker , I assume that you support Fed, who is just now giving a tennis class in tennis to Richard ( who looks completely off today )

@DA: Andy,s return was amazing today and this procentage just shows that.I think he could win tomorrow -off course, as Novak fan, I hope not…
Regarding Dolgo-Wawrinka…well, Wawrinka is not playing great at all. Just average. Dolgo is good but Bedreych or Nadal will beat him -too many unforced errors from Dolgo in this tournament.

Salleh Ahmed Says:

Hahaha nadal needed for his 6-1 6-0 win 59 mins

roger needed for his 6-1 6-2 only 49 mins

Salleh Ahmed Says:

federer has already 5 top 10 wins. last year he had only 1 till spring and at the end of the season 4 in total

queen Says:

Haha ha Ahmed ha ha ha…

Margot Says:

@the DA
Did you see where Andy was standing to receive serve- Tsonga’s serve! WOWEE! He was looking mighty fine.
Damn back :(

the DA Says:

@Margot – Yes. I can’t recall the last time I saw him return so well…and aggressively. I think that little tweak made him play with a sense of urgency and he tried to shorten points. He should just remember to play like that all the time.

skeezer Says:

@Salleh Ahmed,
Actually I watched First set of Rafa’s match Never saw him actually beat the clock in between serves like he did in that match. Just proves he can work within the rules, lol!

Fed played awesome today, short and sweet against a quality player.

Gordon Says:

In Indian Wells Raonic looked great in his first two matches, then he came out flat and lost to a hot Dolgopolov.

In Miami he looked great in his first two matches, then today he came out flat against Becker, but he found a way to win in straight sets. The 15 aces helped, as did the 8/8 saves of service breaks.

But if he shows up like today in the quarters against Nadal he will be lucky to get 5 games in total.

No offence to Fognini.

Okiegal Says:

I was out all afternoon, what happened with Stan??

Was Fabio having some kind of issue with his back? He had a super bad night. He can play so much better. He acted like something besides Rafa was hindering his play.

Patson Says:


Nole didn’t even spend a minute to beat Mayer in the 3rd round. Height of awesomeness I’d say ! Hehe

Gordon Says:

Rafa did not lose a single point on his serve in his first set. He only lost 3 in the second set, and one of those was a double fault.

In beating Fognini and Gasquet (respectively) Nadal and Federer both won a scary 65% of the points played, allowing (respectively) 4 and 3 games on their opponents’ serve.

With Stan flaming out in consecutive Masters tourneys and Murray getting his act together, I have a hunch we are going to see Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Murray as the top four guys before long. Until they are seeded as such we have to have draws like this with Murray and Djokovic playing each other, with the winner playing Federer and then that winner having to face Rafa. Yikes!

But that’s if play holds true to form.

Raonic will get destroyed unless he brings his ‘A’ game against Rafa. Even if he does I still think Milos will be the victim of a Nadal clinic.

The interesting match will be Berdych against the Dog Man, with the latter being the one guy in the top half of the draw who may be able to trouble Rafa. We all know Berdych crumbles against the Spaniard, so whichever guy comes to the semi-final against Rafa will determine how easy a path the number one seed has en route to his possible first Miami title.

Am I discounting Nishikori against Federer? If Federer brings the game he has shown so far this week, yeah.

This is turning into a hell of a tourney; when we reached the QFs at Indian Wells there were only two single digit seeds left (2 and7), while in Miami we have five (1,2,5,6 and7).

It’s gonna be a fun week!

skeezer Says:

Yep, totally agree.
And now the defacfo excuse”strong era” totally debunked.

How can a man @32/33 compete at such a high level in the big 4 “strong era? Isn’t he Faderer? Isn’t he just good when he is young and in the “weak era”?
Is it because he is that good? Or that he has always been THAT good? , no matter what the “era” was presented?
Apparently the facts are presenting themselves.
It doesn’t matter where you place The Maestro, he simply consistently competes at the highest level.
#8 –
#4 @ 32/33; in the “strong”(cough cough, lol ) era.
Truth is, there is no “weak era”. If there is, this is it. Prove it wrong!

Nirmal Kumar Says:

It’s clearly advantage Roger against Kei. Kei played a 3 hr long match in the heat, while Roger very efficiently took care of the opponent. Both the form and tiring Kei will mostly end up in a routine 2 setter for Roger.

Looks mostly like Rafa vs Berd and Roger vs Djoko.

Djoko vs Murray could be a blockbuster 3-setter, if Murray can play to his form.

Gordon Says:

Skeezer – you are letting some of the trolls get to you.

As a guy who first saw John Newcombe play Ken Rosewall in Vancouver in the early 1970s, I can tell you that the game has been enjoyable always. Things have changed, even in the post 1968 ‘modern’ era with improvements in racquets, strings, training, diets, etc.

I can’t say there was a ‘weak’ era. I can say the game is tougher to play at the highest level and it is amazing Federer is still one of the elite guys on the tour. But who knows, in 5 years Rafa and Nole may still be playing at or near the top of their game.

Anyone who calls any decade or half decade a weak era is just trying to make a point, and it’s really impossible to make.

Like I started with – don’t listen to misguided troll talk. It’s a waste of time.

adam Says:

Nadal is on fire at the moment. I dont see anyone beating him in Miami. Look out for an article on here

Giles Says:
Impressive stats. Keep it up Champ!

Perfect fan Says:

^^Dnt know whr to put….rafa jus won the prestigious ‘Laureus comeback of the year’ award. Great news!!^^

Perfect fan Says:

sad though, rafa missed out the ‘ sportsperson of the year award’ to sebastien vettel. but have to say, vettel had one hell of a season last year….deserves it.

Giles Says:

Tennis X. Have no idea why my post on Rafa winning the Laureus Award was deleted. Perhaps you would like to open a new thread on that subject. Thank you.

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