Miami Masters: Novak Djokovic sets up Tommy Haas clash

Maria Sharapova ousts fellow Russian Elena Vesnina

Novak Djokovic remained on course for a third straight Sony Open title by despatching Somdev Devvarman in Miami on Sunday to set up a fourth-round clash with veteran German Tommy Haas.

The 25-year-old Serbian, who started the year by retaining his Australian Open crown in Melbourne, was too strong for the Indian, who did not possess the tools to trouble the world number one.

Djokovic broke in the opening game and again for 5-2 before claiming the opening set in blustery conditions on Stadium Court.

Devvarman refused to throw in the towel but he was powerless to prevent Djokovic from claiming a further break in the second on his way to a 6-2 6-4 win in 69 minutes.

"It was very difficult to get into a rhythm because you couldn't really serve at 100 per cent and you had to go more for precision and put twice as much effort into the step adjustments because of the windy conditions," Djokovic said on http://www.atpworldtour.com. "All in all, I'm just happy to get through the rough day."

The two-time defending champion has lost just one match in 2013, to Juan Martin Del Potro in Indian Wells, and he will look to maintain that impressive statistic against Haas in the last 16.

Haas, seeded 15, edged out Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3 6-2 in round three.

"He's very talented and he's probably one of the most experienced active players in the world now," Djokovic said of his next opponent. "He can play equally well on any surface.

"Today (with) windy conditions, I watched his match. He played terrific, so you can always expect Tommy to fight and try his best."

David Ferrer had few alarms in advancing, beating Italian Fabio Fognini 6-1 7-5, and the third seed will next meet Japanese Kei Nishikori.

Nishikori took advantage of opponent Xavier Malisse struggling with his string tension as he moved through 6-2 7-5.

Seventh seed Janko Tipsarevic progressed after gutsing out a three-set win over big-serving South African Kevin Anderson.

Anderson claimed the opener but the match drifted firmly in Tipsarevic's direction when he won the second on a tie-break and he ran through the decider to go through 4-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-0.

In other third-round matches, 11th seed Gilles Simon beat Grega Zemlja 6-4 6-4 to set up a clash with Tipsarevic, Jurgen Melzer rallied for a 6-7 (3/7) 6-3 6-4 win over Tobias Kamke and Albert Ramos overcame James Blake 6-4 2-6 7-5. Melzer will play Ramos in round four.

On the women's side, third seed Maria Sharapova ousted fellow Russian Elena Vesnina 6-4 6-2 - despite facing nine break points.

"It wasn't easy for the both of us with the heat and the wind," Sharapova said on http://www.wtatennis.com. "It was just one of those days where you know you might not be playing your best tennis - I certainly wasn't today.

"But I got through, and I'm onto the next one."

The 25-year-old will meet Klara Zakopalova in the fourth round following her 6-2 7-6 (7/4) win over Maria Kirilenko.

Sixth seed Angelique Kerber and 11th seed Nadia Petrova went out, however.

Kerber was thrashed 6-4 6-0 by Sorana Cirstea while Petrova lost 7-6 (9/7) 6-4 to Jelena Jankovic.

Cirstea, who will face Jankovic in the fourth round, said: "I didn't have any expectations coming into this tournament because I've never played that well in Miami.

"But I've been fighting the best I could and working my way through every single match, and it's working. When you work so hard on everything, it's nice to see the results coming."

Eighth seed Sara Errani breezed past Simona Halep 6-1 6-0 to secure a last-16 meeting with 12th seed Ana Ivanovic, who overcame two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3 6-3.

Roberta Vinci, seeded 15, battled from a set down to advance with a 5-7 6-4 6-4 triumph over Carla Suarez-Navarro. The Italian will take on Alize Cornet in round four after the French 32nd seed toppled Lauren Davis 2-6 6-3 6-2.

PA

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