Nadal breezes into third round at Indian Wells

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> World number one Rafael Nadal breezed past qualifier Michael Berrer and into the third round of the Indian Wells Masters series.

Updated: March 16, 2009 16:18 IST
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Indian Wells:

World number one Rafael Nadal breezed past qualifier Michael Berrer and into the third round of the Indian Wells Masters series.

Nadal downed Berrer 6-2, 6-1 in just 67 minutes to join defending champion Novak Djokovic in the third round.

Djokovic, seeded third in the 4.5 million-dollar tournament behind Nadal and Roger Federer, defeated 54th-ranked Argentinian Martin Vasallo Arguello 7-5, 6-4.

The Serbian, who claimed his first title of 2009 at Dubai two weeks ago, went up an early break in each set only to surrender his serve before breaking Vasallo Arguello again.

He closed out the match on his second match point, when the Argentinian sent a service return long.

Djokovic next faces German veteran Tommy Haas, who downed compatriot Rainer Schuettler 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-4.

Nadal, the 2007 champion here who has further boosted his hardcourt credentials with his Australian Open triumph this year, skipped Dubai to rest a painful knee then led Spain to a Davis Cup win over Serbia last week.

He had no trouble with Berrer, a 28-year-old ranked 112th in the world. Nadal booked a meeting with Russian Dmitry Tursunov, a 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-3 winner over American qualifier Michael Russell.

Women's top seed Dinara Safina of Russia had to work a little harder to book a fourth-round berth, defeating China's Peng Shuai 7-5, 6-4.

Safina, who has a chance to supplant the absent Serena Williams atop the world rankings by reaching the final of this WTA event, was up a break in the second set but gave it back before breaking Peng again to lead 5-4.

The Russian made no mistake as she served for the match, finishing off with a love game.

In the fourth round she'll meet US veteran Jill Craybas, who beat slumping Czech Nicole Vaidisova 6-4, 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva also reached the fourth round, with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic.

Men's sixth seed Juan Martin Del Potro rallied for a 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, 6-1 victory over wildcard Ryan Sweeting, booking a clash with Austrian Jurgen Melzer.

In other men's matches, last year's suprise men's finalist Mardy Fish, who shocked Federer in the semi-finals in 2008, was beaten 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/1) by France's Jeremy Chardy.

Chardy next faces Spain's David Ferrer, runner-up to Djokovic in Dubai, who beat US qualifier Todd Widom 6-4, 7-5.

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  • Rafael Nadal

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