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Rediff.com  » Sports » Djokovic and Wozniacki crash out of Miami Open

Djokovic and Wozniacki crash out of Miami Open

Last updated on: March 24, 2018 11:22 IST

Novak Djokovic

IMAGE: Novak Djokovic in action during his second round match against Benoit Paire. Photograph: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Six-time champion Novak Djokovic's hopes of turning around his season at the Miami Open ended in the second round when he was defeated 6-3, 6-4 by Frenchman Benoit Paire on Friday.

The loss snapped a 16-match winning streak in the tournament for the ninth-seeded Serb, who had been eliminated in the second round at Indian Wells but said before the match his right elbow was pain free for the first time in a long while.

He had won the tournament in 2014, 2015 and 2016 but missed last year's event with the elbow injury.

The defeat also ended a streak of 21 consecutive victories over players from France for the former world number one.

 

"I'm trying, but it’s not working," Djokovic told the Miami Herald. "That's all it is. I mean, obviously I'm not feeling great when I'm playing this way.

"Of course, I want to be able to play as well as I want to play. Just it's impossible at the moment. That's all.”

Djokovic, who lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open and dropped his only match at Indian Wells last week, had not lost in three consecutive tournaments since the end of the 2007 season, when he dropped his final five matches.

Paire, who had lost his only other meeting with Djokovic, delivered nine aces to only two for the Serb and won 71 percent of his service points.

Juan Martin del Potro survived a battle with Robin Haase to capture his 12th consecutive win, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2.

Juan Martin del Potro

IMAGE: Juan Martin Del Potro in action. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Del Potro, who defeated world number one Roger Federer to win the BNP Paribas Open last week, needed two hours and nine minutes to advance.

Second seeded Croatian Marin Cilic moved into the third round with a 7-5, 6-3 triumph over Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert and third seed Grigor Dimitrov rallied from a set down to beat German Maximilian Marterer 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.

David Goffin was unsuccessful in his return from an eye injury, the seventh seeded Belgian falling to Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-0, 6-1.

American wild card Michael Mmoh produced another surprise, upsetting 12th seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-4 in two hours, 43 minutes. Mmoh got the victory despite losing eight consecutive games after being up a set and 2-0.

Marin Cilic

IMAGE: Marin Cilic plays a shot. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

Diego Schwartzman and Milos Raonic also moved on.

Argentine Schwartzman, the 13th seed, dominated Chilean Nicolas Jarry 6-3, 6-1 while the 20th seeded Raonic, a 2016 Wimbledon finalist, cruised into the third round with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Swede Mikael Ymer that took 66 minutes.

The Canadian fired off 16 aces to only four for Ymer and won 78 percent of his first serve points.

Puig stuns Wozniacki in Miami, Osaka's run over

Monica Puig

IMAGE: Monica Puig hits a forehand. Photograph: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Monica Puig shrugged off an opening set bagel to rally for a 0-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over world number two Caroline Wozniacki in the second round of the Miami Open on Friday.

Australian Open champion Wozniacki breezed through the opener in just 25 minutes before world number 82 Puig started the comeback.

Puig broke Wozniacki’s serve in the second set to take a 4-2 lead and closed it out to even the match, and the 24-year-old Puerto Rican then earned an early break in the decisive set to go ahead 2-0 and held on for the victory.

Ukrainian fourth seed Elina Svitolina ended Naomi Osaka's remarkable recent run with a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over the Indian Wells champion.

The 20-year-old Japanese, who followed her Indian Wells title run with a first-round victory over Serena Williams this week, had no answer to Svitolina during their 83-minute clash.

Svitolina, who last month claimed the sixth title of her career with her triumph at the Dubai Open, said she was prepared for the test of Osaka.

“I was like, ‘OK, this is going to be challenging,’” Svitolina said.

"For a second round, normally you don’t get those kind of matches. It was actually quite exciting. I like to go into the tournaments with little bit of stress. Then you’re straight into the matches. I’m very happy the way handled this match today.”

The Ukrainian will next face Australian 26th seed Daria Gavrilova, who defeated German Andrea Petkovic 7-6(3), 6-4.

Venus Williams

IMAGE: Venus Williams in action. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

Venus Williams was unhappy with her shaky performance against qualifier Natalia Vikhlyantseva but advanced 7-5, 6-4.

Williams, a semi-finalist at the BNP Paribas Open last week, committed five double faults and had her service broken four times in the match.

Sixth seed Jelena Ostapenko defeated Timea Babos 6-4, 6-4 while ninth-ranked Petra Kvitova outlasted Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.

Sofia Kenin, a 19-year-old qualifier, upset 19th-seed Daria Kasatkina, a finalist last week at Indian Wells, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. Australian 21st seed Ashleigh Barty also reached the third round with a 6-0, 7-6(0) win over American wild card Claire Liu.

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