Lleyton Hewitt, Nikolay Davydenko and James Blake were successful in their first round matches at Sony Open Tennis in Miami.
While seeded players were given a bye in the first round, former No. 1 Australian Hewitt started his Miami 2013 campaign with a two-set triumph against Portuguese Joao Sousa, ranked 86, five spots above his legendary opponent. Hewitt started the match furiously, he pulled off a five straight games run and claimed the opener with the second set ball. He seized three breaks in the following set, yet Sousa clawed back each time, saving five match balls along the way. Even so, the Australian kept his concentration and was always a step ahead in the tie-break to grab a 6-1, 7-6 (3) victory. He is to meet 11th seed Simon in second round.
Experienced Russian Davydenko, who conquered Miami in 2008 after defeating Rafa Nadal in the final, delivered a couple of bagels to Italian Paolo Lorenzi in their first round clash. The opening set was done and dusted twenty-two minutes into the match with Davydenko winning all of the games. Lorenzi came better into the set number two, broke the Russian on two occasions before leveling the score. Daydenko then picked up where he had left off in the opener and prepared another bagel for his adversary, sending him home with a 6-0, 2-6, 6-0 final result. He will play 19th seed Dolgopolov next.
In an all-American encounter veteran Blake eliminated talented Ryan Harrison in less than an hour. A couple of breaks per set did the trick for Blake who wrapped it up with a 6-2, 6-2 end score and will confront seed 24 Bennetau in round two.
Another US player Rajeev Ram suffered a three-set defeat against Xavier Malisse of Belgium. The latter grabbed the first set, but Ram leveled the terms after the second set tie-break. In the end, he failed to stay in the match at 5-4 in the decider and the Belgian secured his second round ticket with a 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-4 triumph.
Slovenian Grega Zemlja lost the opener against Robert Bautista Agut after conceding three breaks, yet the Spaniard retired after that, allowing his adversary to progress into the next round. Zemlja – Baustista Agut 3-6, ret.
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