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Nadal tested, Federer and Murray advance
There were no major casualties on Saturday as all the top seeds in both the ladies and men’s draw advanced into round 3 at Indian Wells.
Defending champion Rafa Nadal was put to the sword by veteran Radek Stepanek as the Spaniard had to come from a set down, eventually winning 2/6, 6/4, 7/5. For the second time in as many weeks Stepanek provided a stern test to one of the top names,pushing Federer all the way at the Dubai Duty Free last week.
Nadal’s conqueror at Wimbledon in 2012, Lukas Rosol, almost provided another upset of his own when he pushed Andy Murray to 3 sets, the Scot losing the first 6/4, before rallying to a 6/3, 6/2 win in the last 2 sets.
Four times winner at Indian Wells, Roger Federer, opened up his campaign with a 6/2, 7/6 win over Henri-Paul Mathieu while compatriot and Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka eased to a 6/3, 7/5 win over Ivo Karlovic.
Kei Nishikori, Fabio Fognini, Tommy Haas and Milos Raonic were some of the other seeds to advance while 2002 and 2003 winner Lleyton Hewitt, went down 7/6, 6/4 to Delray and Mexico runner up Kevin Anderson.
Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, Jon Isner and Grigor Dimitrov are all involved in second round action today.
In the ladies draw, Australian Open Champion Li Na had an easy passage through with a straight sets win over Zheng Jie, Maria Sharapova brushed aside Julia Goerges 6/1, 6/4 while there were also wins for Petra Kvitova, Ana Ivanovic, Sam Stosur and Sloane Stephens.