Dinara Safina and Ana Ivanovic crashed out of the Sony Ericsson Open in the third round today, while sisters Venus and Serena Williams advanced.
Second seed Safina was beaten 6-1 6-4 by Australia’s Samantha Stosur while Ivanovic, seeded seventh, fell 6-4 4-6 6-1 to Agnes Szavay.
Safina has been one of the form players over the last 12 months but she has hit something of a rut following her hammering by Serena Williams in the Australian Open final and was well beaten by the unseeded Stosur.
Ivanovic beat Safina in the final of the French Open last summer but since then it has been a story of injury and poor form.
She seemed to be back on the right track last time out when she reached the final in Indian Wells but today’s loss to 25th seed Szavay is another blow.
There was better news for top-ranked Serena Williams, who while seeking a record sixth Key Biscayne title reached the round of 16 by beating Peng Shuai 7-5 6-2.
Her sister and number five Venus Williams defeated Anna-Lena Groenefeld 7-5 6-3.
Next up for Serena will be Zheng Jie of China who beat Alize Cornet 6-4 6-0, while Venus will face Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, who defeated Kaia Kanepi 6-4 6-3.
Fourth seed Elena Dementieva again got the better of promising Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro.
Dementieva had beaten the 20-year-old 6-2 6-2 in the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, ending Suarez Navarro’s surprise run, and it was exactly the same story today as the Russian cruised through.
Eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova recovered from 4-1 down in the second set to defeat Nicole Vaidisova 6-1 6-4.
Vaidisova, 19, was ranked seventh in the world two years ago but has endured a miserable 18 months and is now down at 71st.
Kuznetsova will play 24th seed Alisa Kleybanova in the fourth round after she battled past Anastasiya Yakimova 6-3 3-6 6-4 in a match lasting more than three hours.
Victoria Azarenka, seeded 11th, was a 6-1 6-4 winner over former top-10 player Anna Chakvetadze and will now play Szavay.
In other games China’s Li Na outlasted sixth-seeded Vera Zvonareva 6-4 3-6 6-2. Ekaterina Makarova bested fellow countrywoman and ninth-seed Nadia Petrova 7-5 6-1.
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark topped 18th-seeded Swiss Patty Schnyder 6-4 6-4, while Amelie Mauresmo of France rallied from a set down to beat 15th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta 6-7 (5/7) 6-2 6-2.
Czech Iveta Benesova and Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues also advanced.
In the men’s event, second seed Roger Federer cruised into the fourth round as he continued his bid for a third Miami title.
The Swiss star, who looked in good touch, breezed past Germany’s Nicolas Kiefer 6-4 6-1.
Federer will next face qualifier Taylor Dent after the big-serving American upset 15th seed Tommy Robredo 7-5 6-3.
Sixth seed Andy Roddick, a potential quarter-final opponent for Federer, continued his smooth progress through the draw with a 7-6 (11/9) 6-2 victory over Dmitry Tursunov.
Novak Djokovic also advanced with a 6-4 6-1 win over France’s Paul-Henri Mathieu, while Gael Monfils fought from a set down to beat Marat Safin 5-7 7-5 7-6 (7/3).
Seventh-seeded Gilles Simon overcame a first set defeat to top 29th-seed German Rainer Schuettler 3-6 6-1 6-1, 10th-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat American Robert Kendrick 7-5 6-4, and Czech Tomas Berdych saw off James Blake 6-4 6-7 (3/7) 6-3.