Federer cruises; Ferrer and Tipsarevic major casualties
While Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal won their opening matches in straight sets on Saturday, world No. 4 David Ferrer became the first top seed to make an early exit from the BNP Paribas Open.
Spaniard Ferrer — a winner of two ATP titles this year and known for his speed across the court, was ousted 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 by big-serving South African Kevin Anderson in the second round at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Four-time champion Federer, however, wasted little time in pounding Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-3 with a ruthless display of seemingly effortless movement and razor sharp shot-making.
In a heavily anticipated evening encounter, Spaniard Nadal overcame early resistance from American Ryan Harrison to win 7-6(3), 6-2 in his first match on a hardcourt surface in 346 days, following a left knee injury.
Nadal, twice a former champion at Indian Wells, did not appear in any discomfort after being sidelined for seven months last year and dominated the second set before wrapping up victory in just over an hour and a half.
“I am satisfied to be in the next round,” said the Spanish left-hander, who has enjoyed a successful run on clay in recent weeks, winning two ATP titles after reaching three finals. “That’s the most important thing.
“Two weeks ago, I didn’t really know if I would be playing here, so I am happy to be here. I feel fine.
“My physical performance needs to improve. My movements need to improve.”
Federer, who beat American John Isner in last year’s final, was in peerless form on Saturday, blending a series of crunching groundstrokes with his typically dominant net play to break Istomin’s serve twice in each set.
Earlier, fourth-seeded Ferrer was overpowered by the towering Anderson in the final set as the South African booked his place in the third round after a contest lasting just under two hours.
Serving for the match in dazzling afternoon sunshine, Anderson earned his first win against the Spaniard in two career meetings when Ferrer dumped a backhand service return into the net.
The six-foot eight-inch South African, ranked 37th, clinched both fists in jubilant celebration before walking to the net to shake hands with his opponent.
In other matches, Latvia’s unpredictable Ernests Gulbis stunned ninth-seeded Serbian Janko Tipsarevic 6-2, 6-0, while sixth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych advanced with a 6-2, 6-4 win against Germany’s Mischa Zverev.
The results (ATP/WTA BNP Paribas Open): Men: Second round: Benoit Paire bt Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2; Jarkko Nieminen bt Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 6-0; Kevin Anderson bt David Ferrer 3-6, 6-4, 6-3; Leonardo Mayer bt Mikhail Youzhny 6-2, 6-3; Stanislas Wawrinka bt Wayne Odesnik 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Roger Federer bt Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-3; Jerzy Janowicz bt David Nalbandian 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3; Gilles Simon bt Paolo Lorenzi 6-3, 3-6, 7-5; Lleyton Hewitt bt John Isner 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-4; Ivan Dodig bt Julien Benneteau 6-4, 6-2.
Andreas Seppi bt Daniel Brands 7-5, 6-4; Florian Mayer bt David Goffin 6-4, 6-2; Richard Gasquet bt Bernard Tomic 7-6(1), 6-2; Ernests Gulbis bt Janko Tipsarevic 6-2, 6-0; Rafael Nadal bt Ryan Harrison 7-6(3), 6-2; Tomas Berdych bt Mischa Zverev 6-2, 6-4.
Women: Second round: Jamie Hampton bt Hsieh Su-Wei 6-3, 6-3; Julia Goerges bt Sofia Arvidsson 6-3, 6-3; Angelique Kerber bt Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 6-2; Yanina Wickmayer bt Mirjana Lucic 3-6, 6-3, 6-2; Peng Shuai bt Alexandra Dulgheru 6-0, 4-6, 6-3.
Samantha Stosur bt Madison Keys 6-3, 6-4; Nadia Petrova bt Stefanie Voegele 6-2, 6-3; Garbine Muguruza bt Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 1-6, 6-4; Ana Ivanovic bt Taylor Townsend 6-1, 6-2.
Magdalena Rybarikova bt Lucie Safarova 6-2, 4-6, 6-2; Kirsten Flipkens bt Monica Niculescu 4-6, 6-4, 6-3; Victoria Azarenka bt Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 6-1; Mona Barthel bt Kiki Bertens 6-1, 6-4; Elena Vesnina bt Kimiko Date-Krumm 3-6, 7-5, 6-1; Caroline Wozniacki bt Alize Cornet 6-4, 3-6, 6-3; Urszula Radwanska bt Sloane Stephens 6-3, 6-4.