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Routine 2nd round; Berdych Upset in 3rd round (ATP)

AT, WTA results

March 25, 2012 | 07:27 PM

2nd Round (through Saturday)

In my last post I commented on the fact that all but 3 the seeds had advanced from the 2nd round yesterday. Today I learned how unusual the routine advancement of seeds to the 3rd round has been in ATP 1000 events. At least for those with draws of 96, which Miami has had since 1986 and Indian Wells adopted 8 years ago, the odds of it happening based on the prior 20 years were 1 in 270, according to Jeff Sachmann's post today [see link below]. This year's advancement to this round set a new record.

More interesting, however, is the fact noted by Sachmann that, typically, seeds win 70% of their matches with unseeded players. This means that in an event of this size, about 21 seeds advance to the 3rd round (as they did at Indian Wells last week, and as the women have averaged doing at IW last week where 23 survived the 2nd round and here in Miami this week where 18 survived). The three men who lost this week (#15 Lopez, # 24 Granollers and #29 Chela) have had a tough time this month:

- Lopez is at a career high singles rank of 15 based entirely on the strength of one tournament this year, the Oz Open, where he reached the 4th round after his only win of the year over a player raked above 76 (a 5 set victory over John Isner in the 3rd round). He lost his first match at IW (to Baghdatis) and has lost earlier this winter to players ranked as low as 209.

- Granollers, at #24, is ranked at just under his career high #23 without even Lopez' single event success in 2012: his best win of 4 so far this year is over #49 Bellucci, and he's suffered losses to players ranked 80, 107 and 132.

- Chela, with a 6-6 record this year, had his best win in Davis Cup over #21 Florian Mayer, and has lost to 3 players ranked in the 50's and one ranked 97.

Combined their 2012 record is 15-17, with 3 wins over top 50 players. In Sackmann's projected results for Miami, only Lopez was given a 70% chance of reaching the 3rd round. None of the other 31 seeds were given lower than a 50% chance of advancing, while Chela's was less than 25%. While predicting results in a given match or round is a perilous business at the pro level, except for the top 5 seeds in an important ATP event in the past 5 years, if any of the Miami seeds were likely to be left behind early, these were 3 good candidates.

Seeds Firmly Planted | Heavy Topspin: A Tennis Blog

3rd Round (through Sunday Day Session)

Thomas Berdych was certainly a favorite to have beaten 20 year old Grigor Dimitrov who, despite his recognition as a newcomer to watch, had earned just 2 wins so far this year before Miami. After taking the 2nd set 6-2 to even the match, the Czech looked to have control of the match, earning several break points before losing his own serve at 4-4 in the 3rd, when the Bulgarian acknowledges he got 'a little lucky.' This was Grigor's first win over a top 10 player and will pit him opposite #9 seed Tipsarevic, who won a brash battle of winners in 3 sets over #18 seed #18 Dolgopolov (a slight favorite to have upset the Serb). For Berdych, this represent a second disappointing 1000 event in a row: last week he lost to #12 Almagro 6-4, 6-0 in the 4th round.

Today's highly anticipated match between Murray and #24 Raonic won't happen as a result of Milos withdrawing due to an ankle sprain suffered in doubles yesterday. The Canadian, whose record this year at 16-3 compared favorably with Murray's 14-3, was looking for his first win over a top 4 player. Murray will face #13 Gilles Simon, a 7-6 (5), 6-4 winner over Melzer.

In other action today:

- Jo Tsonga def. #32 Kohlschreiber 6-4, 7-6 (2)

- #16 Kei Nishikori def. qualifier #83 Lukas Rosol 6-4, 6-2 (Lucas had upset Llodra in the 1st round before upsetting #24 Granollers)

Women's 3rd Round Results (through the day session Sunday)

The only upset recorded in the day session was Spaniard Garbine Muguruza Blanco, who had beaten free falling #9 seed Zvonareva 4 and 3 in the 2nd round. Today she picked off #24 seed Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (6).

VENUS moved a round further with a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over fellow WC Wozniak. She'll face a tougher 4th round test with Ana Ivanovic, a 6-2, 7-6 (2) winner over #20 Hantuchova.

Other results were routine wins by favored seeds.


Miami Masters, 3.25.12

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