MIAMI: World number one Novak Djokovic cruised into the fourth round of the Miami ATP Masters and WTA tournament with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over India’s Somdev Devvarman.
Djokovic remained on course for a third straight title on the hard courts of Key Biscayne – a fourth overall – and will battle German veteran Tommy Haas for a place in the quarter-finals.
The 25-year-old Serbian, who won the title in 2007, 2011 and 2012, had little trouble against Devvarman, who has fallen to 254th in the world after a near-seven month absence last season with a shoulder injury.
“Considering the wind, it was a nice day,” said Djokovic.
“Conditions are not so great. It was very difficult to kind of get into rhythm because you couldn’t really serve at your 100 per cent and you had to go more for precision and put twice as much effort in the step adjustments.
“All in all, I’m just happy to get through the rough day.”
Haas, the 15th seed, set up his shot at Djokovic with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov.
In other men’s action, third-seeded David Ferrer of Spain continued his dominance of Italian Fabio Fognini with a 6-1, 7-5 victory. The 30-year-old Spaniard will battle for a quarter-final berth against 13th-seeded Nishikori, a 6-2, 7-5 winner over Belgian Xavier Malisse.
Seventh-seeded Serbian Janko Tipsarevic also advanced, beating Kevin Anderson of South Africa 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-0. Tipsarevic will face France’s 11th-seeded Gilles Simon, a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Slovenia’s Grega Zemlja, for a quarter-final slot.
Sharapova reaches fourth round
Women’s third-seed Maria Sharapova, seeking a first Miami title after four runner-up finishes, defeated fellow Russian Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-2.
“It was a very important game,” Sharapova said. “After I broke back, I held my serve, I felt like I had a bit of momentum. But then with that game you swing back and forth. That was a very important game.”
In other matches, Ana Ivanovic of Serbia surprised Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-3 and eighth-seeded Sara Errani of Italy steamrolled Simona Halep 6-1, 6-0.
Meanwhile, Romania’s Soran Cirstea upset sixth-seeded German Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-0, and Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic, a former world number one player, ousted 11th-seeded Russian veteran Nadia Petrova 7-6 (9/7), 6-4.