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Nadal storms into Round IV

Miami: World No. 1 Rafael Nadal continued his ruthless rampage through the Miami Masters on Monday, crushing Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 6-1, 6-0 to reach the fourth round at Crandon Park.

Also through to the next round is Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka, who looked sharp in a no-nonsense 7-5, 6-4 win over Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

Nadal, who has reached the final three times but never lifted the Miami title, blew past Lleyton Hewitt in the second round before overwhelming Istomin in less than an hour in a centre court master class.

Next up for the Spaniard is a fourth round meeting on Tuesday with Italian 14th seed Fabio Fognini, who advanced with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 comeback win over Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.

Further down the road is a possible semi-final meeting with third seed Wawrinka, who beat the Spaniard in the final of the Australian Open to claim his first grand slam title.

Nadal has shown no signs of losing focus, however, and broke Istomin twice to open the match and grab a 4-0 lead. The 57th ranked Istomin finally held serve at 4-1 but that would be the only time as Nadal thundered through the next eight game to complete the rout.

Canadian 12th seed Milos Raonic blasted his way into the fourth round with 6-1, 6-2 win over Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in 56 minutes. Raonic, who exited the Miami tournament in the third round with injuries the last two years, has had no fitness concerns this year, firing 10 aces and surrendering just five points on his serve to Garcia-Lopez.

Among women, world No. 1 Serena Williams led a stampede of top seeds into the quarter finals on Monday but big sister and three-time Miami champion Venus could not join the party.

On a day that saw play interrupted by rain, Serena, a six-time Miami champion, Australian Open winner Li Na, third seed Agnieszka Radwanska, five-time runner-up Maria Sharapova and fifth seed Angelique Kerber all moving into the last eight.

But Serena’s big sister Venus could not complete the Williams family double, falling 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 to Slovakian 10th seed Dominika Cibulkova..

After getting her title defence off to a slow start, Serena stepped it up a gear against Coco Vandeweghe, sweeping past the young American qualifier 6-3, 6-1, in 79 minutes.

Li was no less ruthless, the Chinese world No. 2 demolishing Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0, 6-2 in 61 minutes while Radwanska grinded out a 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-2 victory over Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina. Kerber also needed three sets to get past Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

Fourth seed Sharapova got a much-needed wake-up call after sleep-walking her way through the opening set before dispatching Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 while Kerber also needed three sets to get by Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

Former world No. 1 and 12th seed Ana Ivanovic seemed headed for a quarter-final berth after comfortably taking the first set against eighth seed Czech Petra Kvitova but fell apart after that, committing 11 double faults en route to a stunning 3-6, 6-0, 6-0 loss.