Bhupathi, Paes knocked out of doubles event
INDIAN WELLS: Roger Federer and Andy Murray each took a step closer to a possible semifinal showdown with relatively routine third-round victories at the BNP Paribas Open on Monday.
Federer, a three-time winner here and ranked No. 2, downed Ivo Karlovic 7-6(4), 6-3.
Playing his first event since withdrawing from the Dubai tournament and the first round of Davis Cup because of back problems, Federer came up with big shots when needed against Karlovic.
Not exactly sure
Federer said he hadn’t been sure if his game was coming together.
“It’s tough to say. I don’t think I’ve had an awful lot of rhythm in my last two matches. Even in my first match, there was quite a bit of serving going on,” Federer said.
The 21-year-old Murray, a Scot ranked No. 4 and off to a 17-1 start this season, overpowered Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3, 6-2. Murray served six aces, won 21 of 25 first-serve points and jumped on his French opponent’s second serve to take 17 of 24 points.
Asked whether he believes Federer can climb back to No. 1, Murray said, “Yeah, no question he can. I just don’t think he’s going to be dominating the sport like he did when he clearly was No. 1 by a long way. I think he’s going to lose more matches than he did before just because the standard of tennis has gotten better.
“And the reason tennis has gotten better is thanks to him setting the bar so high. Guys have tried to reach his level and a few of us have.”
Meanwhile in doubles, the Indian challenge ended after Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi lost their respective second-round doubles matches.
Paes and his Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy, seeded fourth, went down 6-7(6), 6-7(5) to Argentines Juan Martin del Potro and David Nalbandian.
In another match, the third-seeded pair of Bhupathi and Bahamian Mark Knowles was stunned 6-7(2), 4-6 by the unseeded Israeli-Belarussian duo of Max Mirnyi and Andy Ram.
The twin losses rounded off a disappointing Indian campaign at the hard-court event, where Sania Mirza couldn’t go past the second round in women’s singles and crashed out of doubles in the first round itself.
Ivanovic on track
In the women’s section, defending champion Ana Ivanovic, last year’s French Open winner who spent some three months atop the women’s rankings, defeated Gisela Dulko 6-3, 6-3 in their third-round match.
Daniela Hantuchova, the 2002 and 2007 champion, also advanced, outlasting Petra Cetkovska 7-5, 7-5 in their late night match.
Men’s singles: Third round: Andy Murray bt Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3, 6-2; Philipp Kohlschreiber bt Nicolas Lapentti 6-2, 3-6, 6-3; Fernando Gonzalez bt James Blake 7-5, 6-1; Fernando Verdasco bt Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-2; Roger Federer bt Ivo Karlovic 7-6(4), 6-3; Ivan Ljubicic bt Gilles Simon 6-3, 7-6(3); Tommy Robredo bt Marin Cilic 7-5, 7-6(2); Igor Andreev bt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 6-4.
Men’s doubles: Second round: Juan del Potro & David Nalbandian bt Lukas Dlouhy & Leander Paes 7-6(6), 7-6(5); Max Mirnyi & Andy Ram bt Mahesh Bhupathi & Mark Knowles 7-6(2), 6-4.
Women’s singles: Third round: Agnieszka Radwanska bt Aleksandra Wozniak 6-1, 6-4; Agnes Szavay bt Kristina Barrois 6-3, 6-4; Flavia Pennetta bt Angela Haynes 4-6, 6-1, 6-4; Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova bt Karin Knapp 6-2, 6-4; Nuria Llagostera Vives bt Alisa Kleybanova 7-6(2), 6-3; Ana Ivanovic bt Gisela Dulko 6-3, 6-3; Sybille Bammer bt Vera Dushevina 6-1, 6-3; Daniela Hantuchova bt Petra Cetkovska 7-5, 7-5. — Agencies