Kusnetsova ousted, Djokovic advances

Paris, May 13:

Aggravated Novak Djokovic demanded - and received - hasty repairs to a new clay showcase court at Madrid Masters today on the way to an opening 6-3, 6-3 victory over Oscar Hernandez.

The third seed was angered as he lost his footing early in the second set against the Spaniard. Djokovic complained to the chair umpire, who immediately summoned grounds crews with shovels and rakes to put the dodgy spot right. The rest of the second-round contest came off without incident, though the Serb needed multiple match points to finally put down a 31-year-old clay-courter.

Djokovic, fresh from winning the inaugural edition of his family-financed Serbia Open, broke on three of a dozen occasions against No 65 Hernandez and never faced a break point himself. Djokovic, down to fourth in the world after being overhauled this week by Andy Murray, next plays Italian Andreas Seppi, a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 winner over American Sam Querrey.

Fifth seed Juan Del Potro advanced as Czech Tomas Berdych quit trailing 6-2, 4-1, with the South American set for a repeat of a Rome showdown against Swiss Stan Wawrinka. The number 11 dispatched Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 7-5 on an outside court at the complex where clay conditions were marginal according to Wawrinka. NO 8 Giles Simon of France defeated Fabio Fognini of 6-3, 6-2.

In women’s draw, seventh seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus beat China’s Peng Shuai 6-4, 6-1 while Russian Vera Dushevina ousted Italy’s Francesca Schiavone 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. Sixth seed Svetlana Kusnetsova, finalist in the last two WTA events, was bundled out by Alona Bondarenko of the Ukraine 6-3, 6-2.