Federer mows down Mahut as Sharapova survives unbeaten

March 19th, 2008 - 2:36 pm ICT by admin  

Indian Wells (California), March 19 (DPA) World no.1 Roger Federer staked his claim on return to dominance, while Maria Sharapova salvaged a season-long unbeaten run as both advanced at the Indian Wells Masters. The top seed Swiss revelled in the return of his take-no-prisoners tennis, crushing a 19th consecutive French opponent as he manhandled Nicolas Mahut 6-1, 6-1 in 53 minutes Tuesday.

“This is also what you want to do, you want to try to run over your opponent, not give him a chance any more,” said Federer, who lost in the second round a year ago to Guillermo Canas after three straight titles.

“I was really happy to break (five times) and (had) no problems whatsoever on my own serve. It was a perfect match really for me.”

Australian Open winner Sharapova stretched her 2008 undefeated streak to 17 matches with a close-fought 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 defeat of Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko.

“I felt I was up throughout the match and I had so many opportunities to finish in the second set,” said Sharapova, the Russian fourth seed. “But she played good tennis.

“The last set was a dogfight, I felt close to being down and out. I couldn’t produce good points for a long period of time.

“It should have been a two-set match. But when you don’t take you chances you start to think and it becomes a battle.”

Four other women’s seeds moved into the final eight, with number two Svetlana Kuznetsova beating Dane Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-3.

Third seed Serbian Jelena Jankovic, suffered with a cold but scratched out a victory over Anabel Medina-Garrigues 6-3, 6-3.

“My nose is a little bit runny and my eyes are watery, and this morning I had sore throat,” the Serb said. “I’m not feeling that great.

“But I have a day off so I can at least recover as much as I can and be ready.”

Defending champion Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia took another step in protecting her title as she stopped India’s Sania Mirza 6-1, 7-6 (7-4).

The Slovak, who won 2002 and 2007 trophies at the desert venue, needed just under two hours to go through against the Indian number one.

Sania said she aggravated a wrist injury during the match and was undergoing a scan.

Agnieszka Radwanska, the number 10, beat American Ashley Harkleroad 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Federer snapped a two-game loss streak with an opening-round win at the weekend after losing an Australian Open semi-final to Novak Djokovic and in the Dubai first round against Andy Murray a fortnight ago.

Mahut managed to earn just four points on a Federer serve, which produced nine aces. The winner will next play Ivan Ljubicic after the Croatian put out Spain’s 15th seed Tommy Robredo 6-3, 6-4.

“I’ve accomplished a good feeling,” said Federer, who suffered with the mononucleosis virus in Australia and into February before a medical all-clear. “Im excited being back, happy to be playing well.”

Argentine seventh seed David Nalbandian needed a struggle in the third set as he held off Czech Radek Stepanek 7-6 (7-1), 0-6, 7-6 (8-6).

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