Miami Masters: Murray Packs, Soderling Struggles
American Alex Bogomolov has provided one of the biggest, if not the biggest, surprises of the Miami Masters after sending home one of the main favorites Andy Murray, whom he ousted in straight sets. The Scott, who hasn’t won a major yet, is one step from losing the taste of a domestic triumph, too.
Bogomolov beat the fifth ATP and favorite Murray 6-1, 7-5 following a tremendous opener which found the American rallying through to a five-game lead and the Scott being stunned by a 118th-ranked. With the crowd favorite keeping almost the same pace, Murray could only win five insufficient games into the last round. On the other side Bogomolov, who was looking for an early victory, managed to stay in touch for it and dominate the Scott, especially in the last minutes of their first meeting which brought the host a well-deserved win that propelled him into the third term.
Bogomolov will next play either Igor Andreev of Russia or compatriot John Isner. On the same half of the table, Kevin Anderson continued his road to the Miami superior phases after beating Guillermo Garcia Lopez in three sets, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 to set a third round meeting with another Spanish player, Pablo Andujar. The Spaniard eliminated compatriot and one of the main favorites Fernando Verdasco in three sets, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 to approach his first big success of the year.
One of the openers’ surprises came from the 21-year-old Japanese Kei Nishikori. The youngster upset Jeremy CHardy in straight sets, 7-6, 6-2 to be proud to meet world champion Rafa Nadal in the next term. “He’s No. 1 right now, and it’s going to be my challenge match. I’m really excited to play. Always I’m excited to play like Rafa and top players. I will do my best. I have to do something different in my game, a little bit, of course. But I guess more aggressive than usual,” said Nishikori.
Winner of the first tournament of the year, Brisbane, Rotterdam and Marseille, Robin Soderling edged Zagreb Indoors champion Ivan Dodig 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 to meet either Philipp Kohlschreiber or Juan Martin Del Potro in the third round. American Mardy Fish, who is also chasing his first success of the year in Miami, beat French Julien Benneteau in two sets, 6-4, 6-3, being expected to face the winner between Paolo Lorenzi, who ousted Ivan Ljubicic in the first round, and Richard Gasquet.
Serbian Viktor Troicki has also progressed into the third round. The Serb passed Marsel Ilhan of Turkey 6-3, 6-3 nad will next play the winner between Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan and Sam Querrey. On the same second half of the table, Michael Llodra won the clash against Xavier Malisse in two sets, 6-2, 6-3 and will next fight Marcel Granollers for a place into the fourth round.
The Spaniard grabbed a very struggling victory over Chennai champion and 13th-ranked Stanislas Wawrinka, whom he edged 6-0, 6-7, 6-3. Somdev Devvarman continues his straight-set progress at the Miami Masters. The Indian player beat Milos Raonic 7-6, 7-5, being expected to meet either the Auckland and Acapulco winner David Ferrer or Igor Kunitsyn who reached the second round after his first round opponent Robert Kendrick was forced to abandon due to injury.
Finally, James Blake is also among the third round qualifiers. The American defeated Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil after conceding the first set to two. In the end, he would overcome Bellucci 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 to set a potential third-round rendezvous with second ATP and the 2011 Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic who is to play Uzbeki Denis Istomin.
Feliciano Lopez is to play Juan Ignacio Chela in the second round, the two being expected to meet for the second time in their career. The 28th-seeded Argentine has already beaten Lopez at the 2003 Gstaad event. The winner between the two will play either Rafa Nadal or Kei Nishikor in the third round.
Alexandr Dolgopolov and Andreas Seppi are to fight for a place into the next term after the Italian managed to overcome Micscha Zverev 6-2, 6-7, 6-1 in the opener. Another tough clash will be brought by Teymuraz Gabashvili and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who are both chasing their first success of the season. The French got directly into the second round, while the Russian ousted Danie Brands 6-2, 7-6 in the first round.
Winner of the 2011 Costa do Sauipe and Buenos Aires, Nicolas Almagro is expected to play Frederico Gil of Portugal. Gil reached the second round after eliminating Paul Capdeville in three sets, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6. 22nd-seeded Albert Montanes is to meet Florian Mayer for the first time in the second round of the Masters, while Ernests Gulbis and Carlos Berlocq will also fight for a place into the next term.
Unlucky Tomas Berdych, who has been forced to withdraw a couple of times this season, is to make his debut under the Miami suns facing Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo of Spain. Hidalgo follows a struggling three-set victory over Adrian Mannarino whom he defeated 7-6, 6-7, 6-2 in the first day.
Radek Stepanek set a Roger Federer meeting after ousting Fabio Fognini in two sets 6-3, 7-6. The winner between the two will play either Sergiy Stakhovsky or Juan Monaco in the third round. Marcos Baghdatis, a former future-promising player, is to face Olivier Rochus in the second round, while Yen-Hsun Lu will next meet powerful Mikhail Youzhny.
Finally, Andy Roddick plays Pablo Cuevas and Janko Tipsarevic and Marin Cilic are to provide one of the toughest early rounds of the Miami Masters.
Miami Masters Prize money and points:
Winner – $611,000 and 1000 points ATP
Runner-up – $298,200 and 600 points ATP
Semi finalist – $149,450 and 360 points ATP
Quarter finalist – $76,195 and 180 points ATP
R16 – $40,160 and 90 points ATP
R32 – $21,495 and 45 points ATP
R64 – $11,605 and 25 points ATP
R96 – $7,115 and 10 points ATP11