MIAMI, March 25 (BSS/AFP) - Defending champ Novak Djokovic and world No. 3 Roger Federer both advanced through the Miami Masters second round in straight sets, but crowd favourite Kim Clijsters crashed out of the women's draw.
Top seed Djokovic easily defeated Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 6-4
at the ATP/WTA Miami Masters hardcourt tournament on Saturday.
Third-seeded Federer recorded his 23rd win of 2012 by beating
19- year-old American wild card Ryan Harrison 6-2, 7-6 (7/3).
"I felt like I had to win the match three times at the end,
so I was relieved to come through," Federer said. "And beating an
American in America is always a big deal, because this is here
where they usually play their very best."
The Swiss superstar is bidding to capture his third Indian
Wells- Miami title double, having also won the back-to-back US
hardcourt Masters events in 2005 and 2006.
Federer has now won 40 of his past 42 matches since the 2011
US Open semi-finals.
"I guess I'm more confident now. I have been playing really
nice as of late," Federer said.
The 24-year-old Djokovic now has 15 wins and just two losses
on the year. This was his first match since losing in three sets
to American John Isner in the semis of the the Indian Wells
"I am really trying to have a positive attitude," Djokovic
said. "I'm here to fight for the title just as all the other
players are and not to defend it."
Top seed Djokovic finished with two aces, one double fault
and won 80 percent of his first-serve points in the 91 minute
"I was working very hard these days to get ready for this
tournament, so every win means to me a lot," Djokovic said. "So
I'm really looking forward to the next match."
Djokovic advances to the third round where he will square off
against fellow Serb Viktor Troicki who rallied to beat qualifier
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Andy Roddick, the number 31 seed and 2004 and 2010 champion
in Miami, dropped nine points on his serve and hit 10 aces to
beat Luxembourg's Gilles Muller 6-3, 6-2.
The American, who is at his lowest ranking since July 2001,
won in 74 minutes. Roddick advances to face third seed Federer.
Fifth seed David Ferrer, who reached the 2005 and 2006 semi-
finals, converted four of 10 break-point opportunities to beat
19-year- old Australian Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-4.
France's Gael Monfils defeated Ukrainian qualifier Sergei
Bubka -- the boyfriend of women's number one, Victoria Azarenka -
- 6-4, 6-4 in 78 minutes.
Monfils next faces Argentine 21st seed Juan Monaco.
On the women's side of the draw, Russian second seed Maria
Sharapova eased her way into the fourth round but Clijsters bit
the dust after losing to Belgian compatriot Yanina Wickmayer in
Sharapova cruised into the next round by dominating American
qualifier Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-2.
Sharapova, who is a three-time runner-up in Miami, advances
to face unseeded Russian compatriot Ekaterina Makarova who beat
Mona Barthel of Germany 6-2, 6-4.
Former world number one Clijsters saved three match points
against Wickmayer, the 23rd seed, before losing 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) in
the third round.
"She definitely started off much better and was more
consistent throughout," Clijsters said. "It was close. It's a
little bit frustrating knowing that I am playing not even 50
percent but it is still that close.
"On one hand I could have beaten her with the way that I was
playing and feeling, but she played good."
Clijsters, who was playing her first tournament since an
Australian Open semi-final defeat by Azarenka, had skipped last
week's Indian Wells tournament to rest her injured ankle.
The 28-year-old won the Miami event in 2005 and 2010.
American 10th seed Serena Williams breezed into the fourth
round with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Italian number 21 seed Roberta
Williams is playing her first tournament since a fourth-
round exit at the Australian Open.