Miami Masters: Nadal romps; Serena, Sharapova struggle

World No 1 brushes aside Hewitt to enter Miami Masters Round 3

Miami: World No 1 Rafael Nadal hammered former No 1 Lleyton Hewitt 6-1, 6-3 on Saturday night to reach Round 3 of the Miami Masters tournament.

Rafael Nadal celebrates match point against Lleyton Hewitt at the Sony Open in Key Biscayne. Pic/AFP
Rafael Nadal celebrates match point against Lleyton Hewitt at the Sony Open in Key Biscayne. Pic/AFP 

The top-seeded Spaniard and his veteran Australian opponent took to the court two and a half hours late due to long matches that preceded them.

But Nadal, who received a first-round bye, ripped through the opening set in 27 minutes and eventually dispatched double Grand Slam winner Hewitt in 66 minutes.

"It's great for me to be back after not playing since 2012. I really enjoy it here," Nadal said. "There was no better way to start my return than with a win like this."

Djokovic in Round 4
Serbian second seed and three-time Miami champion Novak Djokovic advanced to the fourth round when opponent Florian Mayer retired a day before their match with a groin injury. Djokovic will next play tomorrow.

Meanwhile, World No 1 Serena Williams and Russian star Maria Sharapova each battled through three sets to advance into the fourth round on the women's side.

Sharapova relieved
Sharapova beat Czech Lucie Safarova 6-4, 6-7 (7/5), 6-2 in a battle which took five minutes short of three hours to complete. Sharapova let out a scream of relief when she finally went through.

Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova 

"She was just hitting unbelievable shots on the match points," said Sharapova. "I kept asking myself how many more chances I had. I'm just so happy to go through."

Top seed Serena Williams waited out a 45-minute rain third-set interruption before dispatching France's Caroline Garcia 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Bops-Anderson out
India's Mahesh Bhupathi and partner Kevin Anderson were sent packing in Round 1 by second seeds Alexandr Peya and Bruno Soares with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-10 win.

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