Top ranked Rafael Nadal cruises, Soderling crashes | Top ranked Nadal cruises
Top ranked Rafael Nadal cruises, Soderling crashes: World number one Rafael Nadal steamrolled unseeded Ryan Sweeting 6-3, 6-1 in the third round of the $9m WTA and ATP Masters 1000 event on Monday.
The two-time winner Nadal put any question about his recovery from a left thigh injury to rest as he booked his fourth round spot and looked primed to go deep into the Indian Wells tournament.
“In this tournament I have fantastic feelings,” Nadal said. “Nothing really impressive, but I played solid. You know, I didn’t have big mistakes.
“So I think today(Monday) the more positive thing is I finished much better than the beginning of the match. So to improve during the match is very good news.”
World number four Robin Soderling became another seeded casualty as he suffered a rare loss this season with his fourth defeat in five career meetings against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (10/8), 6-4.
Nadal, who took time off earlier this year to recover from a left thigh injury, used a variety of precision serves, thundering forehands and crisp volleys to wear Sweeting down in the 68-minute centre court match.
“In general I am happy with my serve, happy with my backhand and my forehand is my best shot,” Nadal said. “
Sweeting committed four double faults and handed Nadal the victory on a platter when the American double faulted on the first match point.
Spaniard Nadal advances to the fourth round where he will face India’s Somdev Devvarman who beat Xavier Malisse of Belgium 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7/3).
Fourth seed and two-time French Open finalist Soderling lost for just the second time this season which has yielded him 19 victories and an ATP Tour best three titles.
Soderling blamed his loss on a foot injury he suffered in the recent Davis Cup and a nagging virus he has been battling lately.
“I lost the match when I decided to go out on court,” Soderling said. “Sitting here after the match I feel like I couldn’t give 100 percent and I feel it was stupid to play.”
Kohlschreiber will play Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina who eased past 20th seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 in a third round match.
In other men’s matches, Spain’s Tommy Robredo crushed young American Donald Young 6-0, 6-4 and hard-serving Ivo Karlovic hammered 11 aces in his 6-3, 6-3 win over Gilles Simon of France.
On the women’s side, top seed Caroline Wozniacki stepped up her bid to win her first Indian Wells title by snapping a spell of bad luck against Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.
The 20-year-old Wozniacki, who lost to Martinez Sanchez in their three previous matches, swept past the Spaniard in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 in the California desert.
Wozniacki, who needs a strong showing in Indian Wells to hold onto her No. 1 ranking, dispatched Martinez Sanchez in just 71 minutes, winning 85 percent of her second-serve opportunities and saving two break points.
“I had to focus on my own serve,” Wozniacki said. “She has a pretty tricky serve, so once I had broken her, I just needed to keep my serve.
“That sounds very easy, but it’s difficult to do sometimes.
“I had to fight till the last point, because you never know what to expect.”
Wozniacki, Danish-born of Polish parentage, moves on to the fourth round where she will face Russian Alisa Kleybanova who beat 13th seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6-3, 6-4.
Martinez Sanchez’ prior dominance of Wozniacki dated back to the final of the 2009 Bastad clay court tournament where the Spaniard won 7-5, 6-4.
“In Bastad I played her on my birthday,” Wozniacki said. “I thought she was going to give me a present, but she did not.”
Russian 16th seed Maria Sharapova wasted little time booking her spot in the fourth round by routing France’s Aravane Rezai 6-2, 6-2 on centre court.
After a slow start in which she lost the first two games, Sharapova hit her stride in the third game and won six straight to take the first set.
“I started like I didn’t have my cup of coffee or something,” she said.
In other women’s matches, Belarus eighth seed Victoria Azarenka beat Ursula Radwanska of Poland 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.