Maria SharapovaÂ and Andy Roddick advanced to the third round of the Sony Ericsson Open on Saturday afternoon, both with straight set victories while Kim Clijsters was ousted by countrywoman Yanina Wickmayer.
Sharapova stopped young American Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-2. “I got off to a good start, I was up 4-1 and had opportunities to finish it off pretty good.Â But, you know, she came back strong and started moving really well.Â Never faced her before, so, you know, it took a little bit of time to figure out her game.
“But I did a good job of hanging in there even when she started playing a lot better.Â Yeah, in the second set I played much better than the first.Â That was good.”
Roddick had a positive and decisive win over Gilles Muller 6-2, 6-3. “There’s been a lot of negativity from, you know, me,” Roddick told media. “I don’t like playing the way that I have this year, so it’s more just aboutÂ you know, I feel like something good is coming.
“You know, if I can keep this progress, then, you know, hopefully the next, you know, two months will be fine, but then I can build hopefully.Â I’m playing a lot in the summer, so hopefully I can use this as a bridge and keep the momentum going and have a big summer and get back to where I think I should be.”
Roddick’s next challenge in the third round will be Roger Federer.
“It’s huge.Â I mean, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s been he’s been the biggest obstacle in my career, and, you know, his game matches up well against mine.
Â “You know, just the Xs and Os of it, I have to be really good to give myself a shot against him, better than against most.Â So it’s rewarding.Â When you beat a guy who’s the best ever at his sport, it’s a big deal.Â Doesn’t matter where it is.Â So I was obviously very happy with that.”
Roddick is 2-21 against Federer lifetime with one of wins coming in Miami in 2008.
Playing her first tournament since losing to Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals of the Australian Open, Kim Clijsters appearing to have problems with her movement, was outplayed by Belgian countrywoman Yanina Wickmayer 6-4, 7-6(5).
“I think the conclusion of the match today is that, you know, she, you know, definitely started off much better and was more consistent throughout, you know, the two sets, um, and I wasn’t,” Clijsters said.
“So, you know, still it was close.Â So, you know, it’s in a way a little bit frustrating knowing that, you know, playing maybe not even 50% but still being that close is you know, on one hand, you’re like, Ah, I could have beaten her, you know, with the way that I was playing and feeling, but she played good.
“I mean, she served well, you know.Â But I did feel she was getting nervous to finish off the match as well, so I had a few opportunities there to get back into it and maybe win that second set.
“I felt like, you know, playing outdoors again I have to get used to, you know, playing my matches again.Â In the beginning of the match I felt like I really had to find my rhythm, and she did that really well.
“I mean, she came out and was playing really aggressively, was playing well, and, um, yeah, so she was, you know, better today.”
Next tournaments on the schedule for Clijsters are Madrid and Rome.