The defending champion and number three seed, Andy Murray, was rudely ousted by American Mardy Fish on Saturday. Murray now joins number two seed, Novak Djokovic on the sidelines at the prestigious Sony Ericsson Miami Open.
Fish came out firing and never let up against the defenseless Murray. Fish fired ten aces and was successful in winning 82 percent of his first serves. Lofty numbers, indeed, and too much for Murray who suffered his first first-round knockout in 11 months. Murray, who jumped out to a 3-1, 40/love first set lead, was broken as Fish rallied to win 5 of the last 6 games.
Andy Murray was not able to return serve with his usual proficiency. Fish made a living off Murray’s half court, short returns. Every time Murray mounted a rally, Fish answered with his best serves. For the three seed, it is just another surprising loss after his final appearance in Melbourne.
Top seed Roger Federer made fast work of Nicolas Lapenti, 6-3, 6-3. Federer lost only four points on his first serve and looked sharp after his upset loss at Indian Wells. 14,403 fans watched the Center Court evening match. On his march to a third Miami title, Federer will next play Frenchman Florenta Serra. Federer, who holds sixteen Grand Slam title, is seeking his 17th ATP World Tour Masters 10000 title.
Hot playing Swede and fifth seeded Robin Soderling hung tough in the first set and then overpowered Aussie Peter Luczak 7-6(2), 6-0 in 80 minutes. Soderling fired six aces and won 67 percent of his serves. The Swede was a first round knockout last year.
In one of his strongest performances of the year, 10th seed Fernando Verdasco made short work (60 minutes) of Israel’s Dudi Sela 6-1, 6-2. The feisty Verdasco won 24 of 26 first serves. The popular Spaniard will next face Austrian Jurgen Melzer.
Russia’s Mikkhail Youzhny polished off Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo 6-0, 6-1. The 13 seed will next play 19th seed Stanislaus Wawrinka. Meanwhile the ever-dangerous Cypriot and Federer conqueror last week, Marcos Baghdatis put aside Argentine Ignacia Chela 6-2, 6-4. Baghdatis can never be counted out.
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