Federer, Na advance at BNP ParibasRoger Federer and Andy Murray won their opening matches and top-seeded Li Na beat Chinese countrywoman Zheng Jie, 6-1, 7-5 on Saturday in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open.
Federer, the four-time champion seeded seventh, beat French qualifier Paul-Henri Mathieu, and the fifth-seeded Murray regrouped to top Lukas Rosol, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Kevin Anderson and Tommy Haas also moved into the third round. Anderson spoiled two-time tournament champion Lleyton Hewitt’s bid for his 600th career match win, topping the Australian, 7-6 (5), 6-4. Haas, who will be 36 on April 3, rolled to a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Jeremy Chardy.
Mikhail Youzhny, seeded 14th, withdrew because of a back injury.
Murray reached the final in 2009, but has mostly struggled in the event.
“I think it’s important sometimes to think about it, because when you’re not expecting it to happen and then it does, that’s when it can kind of take you by surprise and you might panic a little bit or worry,” Murray said. “But I don’t feel like [that happened] today. I was a set and a break down. I got broken three times in a row the end of the first set, beginning of the second. I just kind of kept going and found a way to win, which is always the most important thing.”
Li is playing her second event since winning the Australian Open.
“This is the first match after Doha, two weeks, and of course I cannot be 100 percent for the first match,” Li said. “But I was happy. At least I can learn something from today’s match.”
Li will face Karolina Pliskova, a 7-5, 6-2 winner over No. 28 Klara Zakopalova.
Eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova, No. 11 Ana Ivanovic and No. 12 Dominika Cibulkova also won early matches.
Meanwhile, third-seeded Victoria Azarenka tumbled out of the Open on Friday night in her first match in more than a month, falling, 6-0, 7-6 (2) to American Lauren Davis. Azarenka, from Belarus, had been sidelined since the Australian Open because of a left foot injury that required her to wear a boot for several weeks.
The two-time Australian Open champion, hampered by nerve damage between her toes, limped visibly at times, had trouble serving, fell to her knees several times, broke a racket after double-faulting to fall behind 4-3 in the second set, and fought back tears.
“Basically, all I had was my fighting spirit,” Azarenka said. “When I’m on the court, I try to give as much as I can, even on one leg. I try to do my best in tough situations. That’s part of our job.”
She isn’t sure if she’ll try to play in the Sony Open in Florida in 10 days.
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