Swiss maestro Federer, Djokovic dominate in Miami

Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:49pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) - After a year's absence, fifth seeded Roger Federer celebrated his return to the Miami hardcourts with a clinical 6-4 7-6(4) second round win over towering Ivo Karlovic on Friday.

World number two Novak Djokovic, a three-time winner in Miami, launched his bid for a fourth title in impressive fashion, dispatching Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-4 6-3.

A two-time winner at Crandon Park, Federer did not visit Miami last year, taking an extended layoff before starting his season. But he looked quite at home, needing just 74 minutes to slay the 6-foot, 11-inch (2.11m) Croatian in a slugfest that featured just one break of serve.

"I was able to play a very clean match on my service games throughout, make sure I had a lot of first serves in, make sure I stayed aggressive from the baseline," said Federer. "I think it worked really well, hardly any unforced errors.

"There are no long rallies. It's just like more penalty shootout like in soccer.

"It's about quick reaction, not getting frustrated and feeling that the returner is the one who has got less pressure."

Federer, who had been dismissed as a fading force following last year's disappointing campaign, has hit back at his critics on the court, clinching the 78th title of his career in Dubai while reaching the finals in Brisbane and last week in Indian Wells, where he lost to Djokovic.

It was another dominating performance by the re-energized Swiss maestro, particularly in the opening set where he committed a single unforced error.   Continued...

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates defeating Andy Murray of Britain in their men's singles quarter-final tennis match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 22, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Reed