Nadal advances without impressing
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:23
The world number one was broken early in both sets by his 24-year-old Portuguese opponent, who is ranked 73 places below him, but without ever coming close to his best form Nadal eventually seized control of the match and broke three times in succession to close out the match.
The Spaniard will now meet Stanislas Wawrinka in the fourth round after he battled back from a set down to beat Igor Andreev 4-6 6-3 6-3 in a match that lasted two and a half hours.
World number four Andy Murray was also below his best as he dropped the opening three games of his match with Nicolas Massu before eventually recovering to win 6-4 6-4. Murray will now meet Serbian Viktor Troicki in the last 16 after he eased past Germany’s Bjorn Phau 6-4 6-3.
The news was not so good for Troicki’s countryman, Janko Tipsarevic, who was cast aside by the impressive Juan Martin del Potro 6-4 6-1. The sixth-seeded Argentinian will next play David Ferrer after he fought back to win a three-setter with Marin Cilic 3-6 6-3 6-4.
Radek Stepanek saw off a defiant Fernando Gonzalez in straight sets, running out a 7-6 (7/1) 6-4 winner over the Chilean. The Czech will now play Fernando Verdasco, who came from a set down to beat fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 3-6 6-3 6-4.
The major upset of the day came in the women’s draw where Russia’s fourth seed Elena Dementieva was sent crashing by rising star Caroline Wozniacki in a narrow 7-5 6-4 victory in a shade under two hours. She will face another Russian, Svetlana Kuznetsova, in the last eight after the eighth seed’s routine 6-2 6-1 beating of countrywoman Alisa Kleybanova.
Two-time defending champion Serena Williams survived a scare as she recovered from being a break of serve down in the third set to overcome 17th seed Jie Zheng 7-5 5-7 6-3. She will face Na Li in the next round after she beat Russia`s Ekaterina Makarova 6-7 (3/7) 6-2 6-2.
Williams’ sister, Venus, is also in the last-eight after she had also been forced to go to three sets before beating Agnieszka Radwanska 4-6 6-1 6-4. She will now play Iveta Benesova for a place in her sixth Sony Ericsson Open semi-final after the Czech player defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-4 6-1.
Elsewhere, Sam Stosur followed up her win against second seed Dinara Safina by beating former world number one Amelie Mauresmo 6-4 6-4. The Australian plays Victoria Azarenka next after she ousted Agnes Szavay 6-2 6-4.