Tennis: Pe'er cruises, Ram, Erlich exit early

Pe'er will face world No. 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.

peer 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
peer 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Shahar Pe'er will face world No. 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami after breezing past Michelle Larcher De Brito on Sunday. The Israeli, who is ranked 19th in the world, needed just 65 minutes to brush aside her 15-year-old opponent in the third round, winning 6-0, 6-2. Kuznetsova came back from a set down in her third round match against Victoria Azarenka, winning 1-6, 7-5, 6-0. Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich crashed out at the first round of the doubles tournament in Miami on Sunday, losing 7-6 (5), 6-4 to Marcelo Melo and Andrea Sa. The Israeli duo, which was seeded third in the prestigious tournament, had won 14 of 15 matches entering the event, but couldn't find its rhythm at any stage of Sunday's match and suffered its first real disappointment of 2008. Justine Henin became the first player to reach the fourth round of the women's event on Sunday when she beat Sara Errani 6-2, 6-1. The top-ranked Henin won 19 of 20 points on her first serve, including five with aces. She swept the final three games of the first set, won the final four games of the second set to close out the victory. Henin improved to 14-2 this year. She's seeking her first title at Key Biscayne, where she was runner-up to Serena Williams in 2007. Top-seeded Roger Federer's quest for first 2008 title took a step forward with a straight sets win over Frenchman Gael Monfils. The world's No. 1 beat Monfils 6-3, 6-4 in the second round - the Swiss had a first-round bye - to set up a clash with Swede Robin Soderling in the third round. Soderling prepared for the Federer match with a win over another Swiss, beating Stanislas Wawrinka 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. The No. 4-seeded Nikolay Davydenko struggled but survived, finally downing Latvian Ernests Gulbis 3-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), and will meet Simone Bolelli in round three. The Italian beat German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-3. Spaniard David Ferrer was the major casualty of the day, losing to veteran Swede Thomas Johansson 6-4, 7-5, opening up that quarter of the draw for Davydenko. Home crowd favorite Andy Roddick had a tough fight against Serbian qualifier Viktor Troicki before prevailing 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.