Roger Federer put on a tennis clinic on Friday, losing just one first-set point on serve against heavy-hitting Ivo Karlovic in a 6—4, 7—6 (7—4) victory into the third round of the Miami Masters.
The fifth-seeded Swiss, making a bid for his third title at Crandon Park, played well after losing the Indian Wells final against Novak Djokovic.
Federer went through in a comfortable one hour-plus match, and held the towering Karlovic to just 13 aces.
The 17-time grand slam winner, back-to-back winner here in 2005 and 2006, earned his 42nd career victory in Miami as he closed out a victory in the tiebreaker.
Federer next faces Thiemo de Bakker, who beat Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 7—6 (7—4), 6—7 (3—7), 6—2.
“I had hardly any unforced errors, I was playing with margin, was able to move Ivo around, and I was able to maintain that throughout the match, which was key,” said Federer. “I could focus a bit on returning while then holding serve, which is important against Ivo.
“I got the early break right away and that relaxed me for the rest of the first set. But still he hung around and stayed in the match.
“Tiebreakers, as we know, can go either way, especially against servers of the calibre of Ivo. I’m very relieved and happy to be through,” he said.
Second seed Djokovic was untroubled by France’s Jeremy Chardy, winning 6—4, 6—3, as his opponent took treatment on an ankle before coming out to lose the final game of the match.
“He twisted his ankle, I talked with him after the match,” said the Serb. “He’s still in physio room, so he says it’s not as bad as he thought. But I wish him recovery.” And as for looking ahead, Djokovic has little interest.
“My next opponent is Florian Mayer, that’s the only opponent I’m thinking about. The other guys, all the best players in the world are playing here. It’s just start of the tournament.”
Andy Murray dropped the first set but broke the last six service games of Matthew Ebden to beat the Australian 3—6, 6—0, 6—1.
The Scottish sixth seed was playing for the first time since parting with coach Ivan Lendl and faces Feliciano Lopez in the third round.
Murray ended with 28 winners and 33 unforced errors as he recoveed in style after missing his chances in the openoing set.
Top seed Rafael Nadal, who starts Saturday after missing the event last year, said that while he is keen to lift another trophy, his success is far from guaranteed.
The Spaniard is hoping for a much-needed lift in hardcourt form after going out in the Indian Wells third round. He faces Lleyton Hewitt in his opening match.
“Hopefully I will have a good few days, I hope to be competitive tomorrow. The first round is never easy, especially when you play an opponent like Lleyton who has already played a match.
“It will be a tough battle.
“I like to win, but I don’t want to win forever. I have to know that and everybody has to know that,” said the world number one.
Spanish compatriot David Ferrer made a return after missing Indian Wells with injury, beating Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili 6—4, 6—0.
French ninth seed Richard Gasquet overcame Colombian Alejandro Gonzalez 7—6 (9—7), 6—4 Jo—Wilfried Tsonga, the number 11, beat fellow Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6—2, 6—4.
In women’s play, Li Na was first into the third round when opponent Alisa Kleybanova withdrew before their match with viral illness.
Agnieszka Radwanska, a losing finalist who played with a knee injury in Indian Wells, showed decent fitness in her 6—0, 6—4 hammering of Romina Oprandi.
Former number one and 11th seed Caroline Wozniacki defeated Monica Puig 6—1, 1—6, 6—3.
Two seeds made early exits as Varvara Lepchenko of the US upset number seven and 2008 finalist Jelena Jankovic 6—3, 2—6, 7—6 (7—2).
Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova put out Italy’s Roberta Vinci, the number 13, with a 6—4, 2—6, 7—5 victory.
Australian Open finalist and tenth seed Dominika Cibulkova beat Austrian Yvonne Meusburger 6—1, 6—2.