Thursday, May 10, 2012

Stosur joins victorious big names

Updated May 10, 2012 08:43:16

Samantha Stosur eased into the last eight of the Madrid Masters with a straight sets win over Czech Petra Cetkovska.

The Australian needed 72 minutes to secure her place in the next round, saving a remarkable seven from eight break points.

Meanwhile, Spanish clay powerhouses Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer got on and off the controversial blue clay courts as quickly as possible with the Iberian pair racing into the third round while Roger Federer was made to work harder.

Second seed Nadal took just 80 minutes in winning his first match against Nikolay Davydenko since 2009, earning a 6-2, 6-2 victory.

Fifth seed Ferrer dismissed Czech Radek Stepanek 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 in almost the same match time.

Federer had to use all his guile and experience to battle back from a set down and see off fast-rising Canadian Milos Raonic 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4).

The Swiss maestro, after an opening round bye, was playing his first match since the end of March and only just edged out the big-serving 21-year-old, who rocketed down 21 aces.

Nadal, leading critic of the dubious qualities of the Madrid surface being trialled amid huge controversy, tried to end talk of the courts and move onto the tennis.

"I played as good a match as I could in these strange circumstances," said the king of clay, winner of Monte Carlo and Barcelona titles last month.

"I'm happy with the way that I played.

"The situation is not easy. This is a fantastic tourney, one of the best in the world. My motivation is strong to play here. I had a fantastic result today, I played better than I expected."

But Nadal added a final word on the issue.

"Conditions here are completely different than on the rest of the clay circuit. If this was in the summer or at the end of the season I would have nothing to say.

"I'm not against change but this is the wrong time of the calendar for it. I don't want to speak more on this."

Ferrer kept his comments completely non-controversial.

"They're a bit slippery but they are working hard to improve them," said the winner of three titles this year.

"It's not a question of criticising, it's just going out on court and doing the best you can."

Croatian Marin Cilic overcame eighth seed John Isner 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-3) as the big American fired 14 aces in his losing effort.

Cilic dodged a bullet with six double-faults including one as he held match points in the second-set tiebreaker.

Frenchman Gael Monfils continued his winning return after more than a month out with an abdominal injury as the 12th seed won as Russian Igor Andreev withdrew with a right shoulder injury trailing 6-3, 1-0.

Compatriot and 14th seed Richard Gasquet advanced over Viktor Troicki 7-5, 6-3 while Spanish 15th seed Fernando Verdasco needed nearly three hours to beat Alejandro Falla 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-4 to next face Nadal.

Champion ousted

In the WTA second round, Czech Lucie Hradecka beat defending champion compatriot Petra Kvitova 6-4, 6-3 to send the third seed home.

World number one Victoria Azarenka, who lost to Kvitova in last year's final, claimed her place in the quarter-finals with a 6-4, 6-4 success against Ana Ivanovic.

Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska brought an end to the 16-match win streak on clay of Sara Errani with a 6-0, 6-1 thrashing in 65 minutes.

Roberta Vinci struck a blow for Italy after Errani's loss, sending out Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 6-1, 6-2. Errani was fresh from the clay title in Budapest at the weekend.

French Open winner Li Na booked the first of the women's quarter-final places as she defeated 12th seed Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-4.


Tags: tennis, sport, spain, australia

First posted May 10, 2012 06:42:53

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