| Andy Murray in Rome, on Thursday |
Rome: Thursday saw two upsets at the Rome Masters. The seemingly ageless Tommy Haas upset third-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 while in women’s singles, 11th-seeded Ana Ivanovic crushed two-time champion Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-4. Both the winners qualified for the quarter finals.
However, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray restored order when they went past their respective opponents. While Nadal survived a scare to beat Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-1, Murray trounced Jurgen Melzer of Austria 7-6 (1), 6-4.
The oldest player in the draw at 36, Haas used his expertise to give Wawrinka trouble with heavy topspin on the red clay courts at the Foro Italico.
Haas hadn’t beaten a top-10 player since taking out then No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Miami more than a year ago.
In men’s doubles, Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi yet again failed to go past the formidable team of Mike and Bob Bryan as they lost in straight sets to the American brothers in the second round.
The unseeded Indo-Pak combination suffered a 5-7, 1-6 defeat against their top seeded rivals. Bopanna and Qureshi could break the American twins only one time while they dropped serve four times in the match, which lasted just 65 minutes.
However, India’s challenge is still alive in the tournament as Sania Mirza and Cara Black have reached the quarter finals of the women’s event.
The fifth seeded Indo-Zimbabwean pair recorded a 6-3, 6-4 win over Daniela Hantuchova and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in one hour and 70 minutes in the second round.
Sharapova, who won back-to-back titles in Stuttgart and Madrid, failed to extend her winning streak on clay.
The Serb finished the first set in a quick fashion in just 31 minutes. She then broke her opponent’s serve in the first game of the second set. Having trailed by a set and a break, Sharapova bounced back immediately breaking Ivanovic’s serve in the second game. From then on, both the players kept their serve until Ivanovic broke in the ninth game, taking the score to 5-4. Ivanovic converted 5/8 break point chances, while Sharapova could convert only 2/6.
Both the players have played against each other 11 times, out of which Sharapova leads 8-3. Last time Ivanovic defeated Sharapova was during the 2007 French Open semi-finals.
The win here serves as a sweet revenge for Ivanovic. Last month, she lost to Sharapova at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix tournament final.
Second-seeded Li Na defeated Australian veteran Sam Stosur 6-3, 6-1 and will next meet 10th-seeded Sara Errani of Italy,