Federer opens with comfortable win as Murray crashes at Miami

MIAMI: Roger Federer preserved dignity among the elite at the Miami Masters Saturday, earning a comfortable opening victory after world number three Andy Murray crashed out to unheralded Mardy Fish.

World number one and top seed Federer quietly dominated Nicolas Lapentti, vanquishing the Ecuadoran 6-3, 6-3 in 66 minutes.

But it was another story for Murray, who fell 6-4, 6-4 to the 101st-ranked Fish.

Federer is the sole survivor of the top three as Murray''s early exit followed that of second-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic on Friday.

Federer lined up a third-round clash with Frenchman Florent Serra, a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 winner over Spain''s Albert Montanes.

Federer is beginning a bid for a third Miami title after winning here in 2005 and 2006.

Swedish fifth seed Robin Soderling, the French Open runner-up, progressed to the third round with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-0 win over Australian Peter Luczak.

Croatian number seven Marin Cilic accounted for Stephane Robert of France 6-3, 6-1.

Spain''s 10th seed Fernando Verdasco saw off Israel''s Dudi Sela 6-1, 6-2 while 13th-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny eased past Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-0, 6-1.

In the women''s WTA event, top seed and 2006 winner Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Agnes Szavay of Hungary 6-2, 6-3 to reach the fourth round.

Three-time champion Venus Williams improved her own record at the Miami event with a 6-1, 6-4 victory.

The American, who lifted the title at Crandon Park in 1998, 1999 and 2001, claimed her 12th consecutive match win after back-to-back titles in Dubai and Acapulco this season.

The third-seeded Williams fired six aces in her 70-minute win, but also produced seven double-faults.

Poland''s sixth seed Agnieszka Radwanska ended the comeback hopes of former number one Ana Ivanovic 7-5, 7-5 as the Serb struggles to regroup under new Swiss coach Heinz Gunthardt.