Federer, Djokovic open with triumphs at Miami
MIAMI – Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic began their campaigns at the WTA and ATP Miami Masters on Friday with straight-set wins, five days after facing off in the Indian Wells final.
Two-time Miami champion Federer played steady, controlled tennis for a 6-4 7-6 (7/4) defeat of Ivo Karlovic for a third-round spot.
Second seed Djokovic, winner of the Indian Wells trophy over his Swiss rival last weekend in California, eased past Jeremy Chardy, 6-4, 6-3.
France’s Chardy delayed the inevitable ahead of the final game, taking a medical timeout after hobbling to a courtside entry tunnel with an ankle problem.
As Djokovic fidgeted with practice serves, Chardy returned to take his medicine, with the three-time champion Serb advancing with three aces in the concluding game.
Fifth seed Federer, now 11-1 all-time against Karlovic, was impeccable in the opening set, losing his only point on serve as he stood 5-4, 40-0 moments before serving out the opener.
A winning tie-break in the second finally made the difference for Federer, now 42-12 in Miami with titles in 2005 and 2006.
“I made sure I had a lot of first serves in, made sure I stayed aggressive from the baseline,” said the Swiss. “I think it worked really well, hardly any unforced errors.
“I was able to move Ivo around, and I was able to maintain that throughout the match, which was key. I could focus a bit on returning while then holding serve, which is important against Ivo.”
Federer missed the tournament a year ago as he rested with back pain but has turned his 2014 season around after a low-key 2013.
He withstood 13 aces from the big-hitting Croatian in the 74-minute win.
Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer made a winning comeback after missing Indian Wells with injury, defeating Teimuraz Gabashvili 6-4, 6-0.
French ninth seed Richard Gasquet reached the third round over Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia, winning 7-6 (9/7), 6-4.
South African Kevin Anderson, the 17th seed, beat Horacio Zeballos of Argentina 6-4, 6-3 while German Florian Mayer, the 30th seed, defeated Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-3, 6-2.
China’s Li Na reached the third round on the women’s side as intended opponent Alisa Kleybanova withdrew with viral illness before their match.
The result sends the second seed into a contest against American Madison Keys who beat Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 6-2.
Two seeds lost in upsets as American Varvara Lepchenko put out seventh seeded Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7/2) and Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova beat number 13 Italian Roberta Vinci, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5.
Australian Open runner-up and 10th seed Dominika Cibulkova defeated Yvonne Meusburger 6-1, 6-2.
Elina Svitolina won her third match over Australian Open semi-finalist Eugenie Bouchard, the 18th-seed, 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 after losing to the Canadian in the 2012 junior Wimbledon final.
France’s Alize Cornet beat Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-7 (0/7), 6-4 as the frustrated German drop-kicked a racquet some considerable distance during a moment of anger.