MIAMI (Florida), March 29: Men’s defending champion Novak Djokovic was upset 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 by qualifier Kevin Anderson in the Sony Ericsson Open second round on Friday.
Second seed Rafael Nadal came safely through, however, along with women’s seeds Justine Henin and Williams sisters Serena and Venus.
Djokovic, who won his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January and last week’s Pacific Life Open, looked sluggish against giant South African Anderson.
“I tried to recover, but obviously I was a little bit tired from the start,” third seed Djokovic told reporters. “I could play, but I didn’t know the way he’s playing.”
Serb Djokovic led 2-0 in the third set before Anderson went on a run of 13 points in a row to take a 3-1, 40-0 lead.
Anderson double-faulted on his first match point but converted his second when Djokovic netted a forehand and the world No 122 went on to claim his first career top-10 scalp.
“When I found out I was playing Novak, I was really, really excited about it,” Anderson said. “Just the opportunity of play the best player this year, and third in the rankings, I was really excited for it.”
Spaniard Nadal beat Benjamin Becker of Germany 7-5, 6-2.
Nadal struggled to win the opening set but raced into a 4-0 lead in the second.
“He started playing so crazy, playing well in the beginning,” Nadal said. “So I’m happy for that, because I played a comfortable match today.”
Men’s seventh seed David Nalbandian lost in straight sets to Belgian Xavier Malisse and eight-seeded Richard Gasquet of France was upset 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 by Russian Dmitry Tursunov.
Women’s defending champion Serena Williams was impressive in her 6-1, 6-2 demolition of Romanian Edina Gallovits.
“I love playing here,” said eighth seed Serena, who lives an hour away in Palm Beach Gardens. “I love having all my friends come and see me play. And my family always comes to this event.
Sixth seed Venus Williams was not quite as formidable as her sister in a 6-4, 6-3 win over Marta Domachowska of Poland which put her into the third round.
Although her 26 unforced errors outweighed 23 winners, Venus Williams saved both break points she offered the world No 87 and broke serve on four of 10 opportunities.
“I love it here, I love Miami, it’s my favourite city in the world,” Venus Williams said. “My whole family is here and it’s home.”
Top seed Henin disposed of Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-4, 6-2 in 77 minutes with a barrage of 40 winners.
“I did spend a lot of time on my serve in the last few weeks,” said the Belgian who skipped the Pacific Life Open to work on her game. “But I had to spend my time also a lot in the gym and really work hard, trying to get confidence back in my strength.
“I didn’t play for a few weeks but I just feel much better than I was a few weeks ago.”
Third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2006 Sony Ericsson Open champion, was pushed by Yung-Jan Chan of Taipei before winning 6-1, 3-6, 6-0.
Friday’s results (prefix number denotes seeding):
Second round: 17-Fernando Gonzalez (Chile) bt Pablo Cuevas (Uruguay) 6-3, 6-3; Xavier Malisse (Belgium) bt 7-David Nalbandian (Argentina) 6-1, 6-4; 20-Carlos Moya (Spain) bt Nicolas Mahut (France) 7-6 (12-10), 6-4; 15-Guillermo Canas (Argentina) bt Sam Warburg (US) 6-3, 4-6, 7-5; Dmitry Tursunov (Russia) bt 8-Richard Gasquet (France) 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-5); 10-Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) bt Sam Querrey (US) 6-1, 6-2; 2-Rafael Nadal (Spain) bt Benjamin Becker (Germany) 7-5 6-2; Fabrice Santoro (France) bt 23-Ivan Ljubicic (Croatia) 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-3; Kevin Anderson (South Africa) bt 3-Novak Djokovic (Serbia) 7-6 (7-1), 3-6, 6-4; 32-Feliciano Lopez (Spain) bt Juan Martin Del Potro (Argentina) 6-4, 6-2; 9-James Blake (US) bt Andreas Seppi (Italy) 7-5, 6-3; 22-Juan Carlos Ferrero (Spain) bt Albert Montanes (Spain) 6-3, 6-2; Nicolas Kiefer (Germany) bt 25-Jarkko Nieminen (Finland) 6-3, 6-2; 27-Radek Stepanek (Czech Republic) bt Sebastien Grosjean (France) 6-3, 6-3; 16-Paul-Henri Mathieu (France) bt Marin Cilic (Croatia) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4; 31-Igor Andreev (Russia) bt Michael Berrer (Germany) 6-2, 6-1.Women’s singles:
Second round: 6-Venus Williams (US) bt Marta Domachowska (Poland) 6-4, 6-3; 5-Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) bt Tatiana Perebiynis (Ukraine) 6-2, 6-4; 11-Patty Schnyder (Switzerland) bt Vania King (US) 7-6 (10-8), 4-6, 6-2; Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) bt 9-Marion Bartoli (France) 6-3, 6-1; Michelle Larcher de Brito (Portugal) bt 17-Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) 2-6, 6-3, 7-5; Sara Errani (Italy) bt 26-Maria Kirilenko (Russia) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2); 27-Flavia Pennetta (Italy) bt Anastasia Rodionova (Russia) 6-4, 6-2; 3-Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) bt Chan Yung-Jan (Taiwan) 6-1, 3-6, 6-0; Kaia Kanepi (Estonia) bt 21-Alona Bondarenko (Ukraine) 7-6 (9-7), 1-6, 6-3; 8-Serena Williams (US) bt Edina Gallovits (Romania) 6-1, 6-2; 22-Katarina Srebotnik (Slovenia) bt Rossana De Los Rios (Paraguay) 6-2, 6-2; Elena Vesnina (Russia) bt 15-Agnes Szavay (Hungary) 6-2, 4-6, 6-1; 16-Shahar Peer (Israel) bt Nathalie Dechy (France) 7-6 (8-6), 6-3; 1-Justine Henin (Belgium) bt Angelique Kerber (Germany) 6-4, 6-2; Marina Erakovic (New Zealand) bt 30-Michaella Krajicek (Netherlands) 6-2, 3-6, 6-2; Ashley Harkleroad (US) bt 23-Virginie Razzano (France) 6-4, 6-4.—Reuters