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2008 ATP-WTA Tour Pacific Life Open - At The Indian Wells Tennis Garden - Day 4

Tournament Coverage

Daniela Hantuchova – SLO

Haas and Nalbandian advance to Quarterfinals at the Pacific Life Open

Tommy Haas – GER

David Nalbandian – ARG

Story By Matt Osias
Staff Writer


No. 1 Roger Federer respectfully dismantled the 29-yearr-old Croatian Ivan Ljubicic in just over an hour 6-3, 6-4, vaulting him into the quarterfinals at Indian Wells.

Federer was able to break the big-serving Ljubicic three times to continue his winning ways without dropping a set.

“I really felt good and thought I moved extremely well,” Federer said. “He is a tough player and to break him three times is a great effort.”


No 2 seed Rafael Nadal needed better than 3 hours to eliminate the resilient Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 7-5. Displaying why he is one of the most feared tennis stars out there, Nadal found a way to fight back down a set and grab the match-changing break to allow him to serve out the match.

“I always try to fight every point. I was a little bit lucky because losing 5-2 in the third – especially against big server like Tsonga – the normal thing is to lose 6-3,” Nadal said. “It was so important for me to have this victory. A victory like this is always special and gives me confidence. I will be better.”


No. 8 seed American hard-hitter James Blake secured his spot in the quarterfinals after beating France’s No. 8 seed Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-2.

Waiting for him is none other than Nadal, which Blake holds a perfect 3-0 career record against him, citing his ability to play against left handed players as a positive.

“I’ve had a lot of success against lefties in general,” Blake said. “I think I return their serves pretty well and get on them pretty quickly. Hopefully it will continue.”

Also, American Mardy Fish knocked out two-time Indian Wells champ Lleyton Hewitt of Australia, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(4), in a match that lasted nearly 2 1/2 hours.
No. 3 Novak Djokovic advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Argentine Guillermo Canas, whom last year stunned Roger Federer in the second round.

Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka overcame South Korea’s Lee Hyung-taik6-1, 5-7 and 6-4.

Germany’s Tommy Haas came from a set down to upset 11th-seeded Briton Andy Murray 2-6, 7-5 and 6-3 and Argentina’s David Nalbandian, the seventh seed, brushed aside Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-2 and 6-2.

Russian No. 4 seed Maria Sharapova stormed into the quarterfinals after defeating Daniela Hantuchova 7-6(2), 6-1. Sharapova lost her first three service games, giving Hantuchova a 5-2 first set advantage, but rallied back to win the first set in a tie break.

“In the first set I was playing like I didn’t even belong on that court,” Sharapova said. “I finally got my groove back, and it just felt like I finally belonged out there. To be honest, she did everything better than I did in the first set, and somehow I ended up winning it, and that gave me the confidence. And in the end of that set I started to pick it up…but the second set was great.”

Sharapova is now an amazing 18-0 to start the 2008 season, however the loss is Hantuchova’s first in the last 9 matches here at Indian Wells

“Obviously I feel like it’s my tournament, so I’m very disappointed. Hantuchova said. “But I feel good about my game right now and am happy to have come back and played well after being sick.”

Sharapova will next face fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, who won 6-2, 6-4 over Polish No. 10 seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

Check back soon for more coverage of the 2008 Pacific Life Open.

Matt Osias can be reached at mosias@californiatennis.com

Rafael Nadal – ESP
Pacific Life Open Photos by Adam Davis


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