Mur­ray wins but Nadal is forced to quit

Con­trast­ing for­tunes as Scot sets up Dim­itrov chal­lenge while Span­ish ace re­tires be­cause of dizzi­ness

The Herald - Herald Sport - - TENNIS, BOXING - HAY­LEY MILNE

ANDY Mur­ray pro­gressed to the Mi­ami Open third round but Satur­day’s play was dom­i­nated by with­drawals, in­clud­ing fifth seed Rafael Nadal, and a cu­ri­ous end to Sam Quer­rey’s chal­lenge.

Sec­ond seed Mur­ray was not at his flu­ent best against De­nis Is­tomin but came through 6-3 7-5 to set up an en­tic­ing third-round clash against Grigor Dim­itrov, a three-set win­ner over Fed­erico Del­bo­nis.

Nadal, by con­trast, had to call a halt to his match against Bos­nian Damir Dzumhur in the third set af­ter suf­fer­ing from dizzi­ness in the hu­mid con­di­tions. The Spa­niard had com­fort­ably won the open­ing set but Dzumhur led 2-6 6-4 3-0 by the time of the re­tire­ment.

“Ev­ery­thing was fine un­til the end of the first set,” said Nadal. “Then I started to feel dizzy. It was get­ting worse and worse. I re­alised that I could not keep play­ing. I wanted to fin­ish the match, but I stopped be­cause I was con­cerned for my health.”

He was far from alone, with Mur­ray left as Great Bri­tain’s last rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the men’s draw af­ter Al­jaz Be­dene pulled out with an ap­par­ent wrist in­jury when trail­ing Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut 7-5 2-2.

Sergiy Stakhovsky and 30th seed Thomaz Bel­lucci also re­tired from their re­spec­tive matches against Jack Sock and Mikhail Kukushkin – adding to Roger Fed­erer’s with­drawal on Fri­day with­out play­ing, due to ill­ness – but the strangest exit was Quer­rey’s. Serv­ing to stay in the match at 4-5 in the third set against Adrian Mannarino, the Amer­i­can fell 0-40 down af­ter a se­ries of list­less serves and wild back­hands.

He was then is­sued a point penalty as a re­sult, hand­ing his op­po­nent a 6-7 (5/7) 6-2 6-4 win with­out the need to even con­test his three match points.

Fourth seed Stan Wawrinka was a high-pro­file ca­su­alty on a manic day in Key Bis­cayne, los­ing 6-4 6-3 to world num­ber 51 An­drey Kuznetsov in just an hour and 19 min­utes. Kuznetsov closed the match out with a love hold fol­lowed by a break to love.

John Is­ner also de­parted, the 13th seed beaten in a fi­nal-set tie-break by fel­low Amer­i­can Tim Smy­czek.

But there was straight-sets progress for the re­main­ing seeds in ac­tion –Kei Nishikori, Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga, Mi­los Raonic, Gael Mon­fils, Pablo Cuevas, Nick Kry­gios and Alexandr Dol­go­polov.

Women’s top seed Ser­ena Wil­liams, mean­while, claimed the 750th match win of her il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer, sur­viv­ing a first-set test to beat Za­rina Diyas 7-5 6-3.

Wil­liams is sev­enth on the all-time list for that statis­tic on the WTA Tour, and will pass fel­low Amer­i­can Lind­say Daven­port for sixth should she reach the fi­nal this week at a tour­na­ment the Florida na­tive has won eight times be­fore. Her next op­po­nent on that quest will be Svetlana Kuznetsova af­ter the 15th-seeded Rus­sian beat France’s Caro­line Gar­cia 4-6 6-2 7-6 (8/6).

Fifth seed Si­mona Halep dis­patched Ju­lia Go­erges 6-4 6-1 and will face Heather Wat­son, who beat Yan­ina Wick­mayer 3-6 7-5 6-3.

Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska en­joyed a 6-3 6-2 suc­cess against Madi­son Bren­gle to set up a clash with Timea Bac­sin­szky, who beat Ana Ivanovic 7-5 6-4.

Twelfth seed Elina Svi­tolina beat Caro­line Woz­ni­acki in a marathon last match of the day, win­ning seven straight points in a third-set tie-break to win 5-7 6-4 7-6 (7/1). She will face Eka­te­rina Makarova, a 6-4 6-4 win­ner over eighth seed Pe­tra Kvi­tova. JAMIE Mur­ray is the new dou­bles world No.1, writes Hay­ley Milne. The Scot will be­come the first Bri­tish player to be of­fi­cially ranked as No.1 in the world de­spite be­ing knocked out of the Mi­ami Open in the first round.

The cur­rent lead­ing men’s dou­bles player, Marcelo Melo – play­ing along­side Ivan Dodig – lost in the sec­ond round of the com­pe­ti­tion on Sun­day.

Last year, the 32-year-old made the semi-fi­nals of the tour­na­ment, so the re­sult means he will lose more rank­ing points than Mur­ray – who was knocked out in round two last year. Mur­ray, 30, was beaten in the first round of this year’s Mi­ami Open with part­ner Bruno Soares – his 63rd part­ner in 13 years. How­ever, when the rank­ings are up­dated on April 4 he will have five points more than Melo.

For­mer Wim­bel­don sin­gles win­ner and four-time Grand Slam women’s dou­bles win­ner Vir­ginia Wade was ranked first in the women’s dou­bles rat­ings – but the of­fi­cial rank­ings were not brought in un­til 1975.

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