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Page last updated at 22:51 GMT, Friday, 11 March 2011

Clijsters, Jankovic & Ivanovic through at Indian Wells

Kim Clijsters
Clijsters could move back to the top of the rankings with a strong showing

Reigning champion Jelena Jankovic and Australian Open winner Kim Clijsters enjoyed trouble-free victories as they began their Indian Wells campaigns.

Granted byes into round two, both were in dominant form - Jankovic beating Coco Vandeweghe 6-2 6-1 and Clijsters thrashing Russia's Alla Kudryavtseva.

Third seed Vera Zvonareva and Ana Ivanovic also had routine wins.

In a strong men's doubles field, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic all progressed.

While Andy Murray and brother Jamie had to work hard for a 7-5 3-6 10-6 victory against Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares, and Nadal and Marc Lopez needed two tie-breaks to beat Poland's Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski, Federer and Djokovic eased to more comfortable victories.

Federer and Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka thrashed second seeds Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor 6-2 6-1 while Djokovic and Viktor Troicki teamed up to beat the Argentine pairing of Juan Ignacio Chela and Juan Monaco 6-3 7-5.

The men's draw takes centre stage on Saturday with Nadal, Murray and Robin Soderling in singles action, with Murray not due on court before 2200 GMT (1400 local time).

Friday saw four of the top six women's seeds ease into round three.

Clijsters, who could overtake world number one Caroline Wozniacki with a strong showing, admitted that she was still short of top form.

"I was happy to be playing out on centre court," said the 2003 and 2005 champion, who will face Italy's Sara Errani next.

"For a first match, I'm at a stage now where I haven't played for a while, and when I was playing, my last few tournaments were indoors.

"So I kind of just have to get back into playing outdoors again and big arenas, and just get a feel for it all over again."

Jankovic, the sixth seed and hoping to become the first woman to retain the title since Martina Navratilova in 1991, revealed that her American opponent had been an unknown quantity.

"The last couple of weeks I have been starting to feel confident in my game," she said.

"[Vandeweghe] made a lot of mistakes. I didn't really know what to expect because I only played her once before at the US Open. But I knew she had a big serve."

Jankovic will play Germany's Julia Goerges next while joining her in the third round are fifth-seed Francesca Schiavone and Zvonereva.

Schiavone was another easy winner, thrashing Czech Republic's Zuzana Ondraskova 6-2 6-0, but Zvonereva had to survive the loss of five straight games in the second set to beat Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 6-3 7-6 (7-3) and set up a meeting with Dominika Cibulkova.

Serbia's Ivanovic beat Kimiko Date Krumm 6-4 6-2 and the only major surprise saw 12th seed Petra Kvitova lose 3-6 6-2 7-5 to fellow Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

In the first round of the men's singles, Canadian rising star Milos Raonic defeated Turkey's Marsel Ilhan 6-2 7-6 (7-4) to set up a meeting with American 13th seed Mardy Fish.

James Blake also progressed, beating Australia's Chris Guccione 6-3 3-6 6-2 but Lleyton Hewitt crashed out 6-3 6-2 at the hands of Taipei's Yen-Hsun Lu.

On Saturday, Murray opens his campaign in the second round against qualifier Donald Young while Nadal faces South Africa's Rik de Voest.

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see also
Baltacha battles to stunning win
10 Mar 11 |  Tennis
Murray suffers shock Masters loss
13 Mar 11 |  Tennis
Watson and Keothavong knocked out
08 Mar 11 |  Tennis

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