Nadal, Azarenka, Sharapova advance at Indian Wells

Rafael Nadal has moved into the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open with a 6-1, 6-4 win over fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers.

Updated: March 14, 2012 09:44 IST
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Indian Wells: Rafael Nadal has moved into the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open with a 6-1, 6-4 win over fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers.

It was similarly easy on the women's side for top-ranked Victoria Azarenka and No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova, who won their matches on Tuesday in about an hour.

No. 2-ranked Nadal has won his last 10 matches against Spaniards, and 22 of his last 23 sets against them. Granollers, who has risen from 50th to 26th in the rankings over the past year, couldn't cover Nadal's speed and touch.

Azarenka had a 6-3, 6-1 win over Julia Goerges and will next meet fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, who advanced when American wild card Jamie Hampton retired with cramping in the third set while trailing 3-6, 6-4, 3-0. Azarenka (20-0) and Radwanska (20-3) have the most match wins this year on the WTA Tour.

Sharapova, who lost to Azarenka in a lopsided Australian Open final, beat Roberta Vinci 6-2, 6-1, and next plays either 20th-seeded Maria Kirilenko or No. 30 Nadia Petrova.

"I was pretty solid and I think my pace didn't allow her to come forward as much as she would have liked," Sharapova said about Vinci.

Fourth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki was to play a night match at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

On the men's side, fifth-seeded David Ferrer lost for just the second time this year, 6-4, 6-3 to Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan. Ferrer had already won three titles this season, and was seeking his 20th match win.

Istomin set himself up for a fourth-round match against No. 9 Juan Martin del Potro, who defeated Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 7-6 (6). Verdasco failed to convert on six break points in the match.

"Verdasco is a really difficult opponent, especially in the beginning of the big tournaments," Del Potro said. "He's very, very tough, very dangerous, and I think I made a good match. I got lucky in the second set when I save five set points, and then in the tiebreak he made the double fault to give me the first match point."

No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga advanced and Thomaz Bellucci progressed when veteran Russian Nikolay Davydenko withdrew because of illness. There was no immediate confirmation whether Davydenko was suffering from the same viral illness that has knocked eight players out of the two-week tournament.

Azarenka next will try to equal Serena Williams' consecutive victories streak of 21-0 to begin 2003.

She has won all three meetings against Radwanska this year, with two of their matches going to three sets.

"She's someone who always comes up with something different," Azarenka said. "She's a little magician, if you can call it that."

Other winners included No. 8 Li Na and 18th-seeded Angelique Kerber, who beat American Christina McHale in a third-set tiebreaker.

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  • Rafael Nadal
  • Victoria Azarenka
  • Tennis
  • Maria Sharapova

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