Federer, Nadal renew rivalry in doubles

Rome, May 8:

They’ve met on clay, grass and hard courts, and even in a half-grass, half-clay court exhibition last week. On Monday, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal played another type of game — doubles.

Nadal teamed with Carlos Moya to beat Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the first round of the Rome Masters.

In singles, Nadal holds a 7-3 career edge over Federer and has won all five matches on clay. Nadal also won his only previous meeting with Federer in doubles, teaming with Tommy Robredo to beat Federer and Yves Allegro at the 2004 Indian Wells Masters.

In singles, Gilles Simon of France upset 10th-seeded Andy Murray 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 and Spanish qualifier Oscar Hernandez eliminated former World No 1 Lleyton Hewitt 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1.

Earlier, 2001 Rome champion Juan Carlos Ferrero rallied to beat Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, and Nicolas Almagro of Spain eliminated Tim Henman of Britain 7-5, 6-1 to set up a second-round match with Federer.

Guillermo Canas put away Jurgen Melzer of Austria 7-5, 6-2 while Agustin Calleri lost to Italian wild card Potito Starace 6-3, 6-1.

Federer, Nadal and the other top six seeded players have first-round byes in singles. In last year’s Rome singles final, Nadal outlasted Federer and won in a fifth-set tiebreaker.

German Open

BERLIN: Shahar Peer was one of two seeded players to advance to the second round of the German Open, beating Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-1, 6-2 on Monday.

Li Na of China advanced by beating Maria Kirilenko 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. Also, Severine Bremond of France beat Sabine Lisicki of Germany 6-2, 6-1 and Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic downed Olga Savchuk of Ukraine 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-0.

Top-seeded Justine Henin, Amelie Mauresmo and defending champion Nadia Petrova are also in the field at the tournament, which has drawn 16 of the world’s top 20 players. Serena Williams and Nicole Vaidisova, however, have withdrawn.