Soderling, Fish Pass First Tests; Raonic Derailed By Devvarman
by Matt Fitzgerald|
World No. 4 Robin Soderling survived a scare in the second round of the Sony Ericsson Open, battling back to win his second round match 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 against Ivan Dodig. The Croatian led 4-2 in the third set, but his dream of defeating his first Top five opponent quickly faded.
Dodig broke the Swede midway through the first set and held his ground to close it out 6-3. The second set was a different story; Soderling found his game and crafted a 4-0 lead. The two held serve for the remaining portion of the set, sending the match into a deciding third set.
The unseeded Croatian began as if he were the veteran, holding serve and then breaking Soderling to go up 2-0. He consolidated the break and maintained his lead until 4-2, when it all came crashing down. Soderling had two break point opportunities and converted; he then followed suit with an easy service game to even the match. Dodig struggled on serve again, falling behind 15-40, and Soderling capitalized to move ahead in the match for the first time. A small glimmer of hope in the final game saw Dodig push the 2010 Miami semi-finalist to deuce, but Soderling finished him off, winning the final two points.
Although it wasn’t the easiest of wins, Soderling was pleased to get through, after losing early last week at Indian Wells. “I didn't play my best tennis today, but I'm still very happy that I won. I know I can wake up tomorrow feeling great.”
The fourth seed advances to play the winner of one of the most intriguing matches of the day. The victor between 28th seeded Philip Kohlschreiber and dangerous unseeded Juan Martin del Potro will play the Swede this weekend. Soderling expects the winner to give him a tough battle in the third round. “They're both good players. I lost to Kohlschreiber last week, and del Potro I haven't played for a while. It's going to be very difficult for me.”
Dodig is enjoying his finest season as a professional, which has included his maiden ATP World Tour title in his home country in Zagreb and a third round showing at the Australian Open.
In a matchup between rising ATP players, Somdev Devvarman clipped 31st seeded Canadian Milos Raonic.
Devvarman served at 5-2 in the first set with a double break lead, but Raonic won four straight games to move ahead 6-5. The Indian held to send it into a tie-break and surged in front 5-1. Serving at 6-4, he missed a backhand volley to give back the mini-break. Raonic however, couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity and Devvarman won the set.
At 1-1 in the second, Raonic broke Devvarman. After several holds of serve, Devvarman pounced on a break point opportunity. Raonic, serving at 4-3, had a game point but his Indian opponent remained patient, winning three consecutive points to level the set at 4-4. Devvarman continued to grind, and broke the Canadian at the end of the set to clinch the upset.
His third round opponent is yet to be determined – he’ll face No. 6 seed David Ferrer or unseeded Russian Igor Kunitsyn.
American Mardy Fish served well to defeat Julien Benneteau 6-4, 6-3 in a second round matchup. The Tampa, Fla. resident, seeded 14th, reached the fourth round here in 2010. His next opponent will be No. 17 seed Richard Gasquet or Pablo Lorenzi, who play later today on court 1.
No. 23 seed Michael Llodra dispatched Belgian Xavier Malisse 6-2, 6-3 to advance into the third round. The Frenchman, who reached a career best ranking of 21 in January, equaled his furthest result in Miami (reached the third round in 2007). His next opponent will be 12th seeded Stanislas Wawrinka or Marcel Granollers.
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