Thursday March 14, 2013
Sluggish and error-prone Djokovic joins Murray in fourth round
INDIAN WELLS (California): Novak Djokovic admitted it wasn’t pretty, but the world No. 1 got the job done Tuesday with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 third-round victory over Grigor Dimitrov at Indian Wells.
Djokovic, unbeaten in a 2013 campaign that so far includes a fourth Australian Open title and an ATP triumph in Dubai, was on the ropes in the opening set against the 21-year-old Bulgarian, who raced to a 4-1 lead and served for the set at 5-3.
But Dimitrov served up four double faults in the ninth game and was broken, and that was the only opening that Djokovic needed.
“It was not really a beautiful match to watch,” Djokovic said. “There were a lot of unforced errors, and we both looked quite sluggish on the court, very slow.
“In these kind of matches, where both of us don’t feel so dynamic on the court, I knew that experience will kick in and can be decisive.
“That’s actually what happened. He made four double faults which is very unusual to see in men’s tennis nowadays, but, look, that’s tennis. Turned it around, and from then on I felt a little bit better.”
Djokovic improved to 15-0 in 2013 and 20-0 since October 31 – when he lost to American Sam Querrey in the Paris Masters.
He’ll get a chance to avenge that defeat in a fourth-round meeting with Querrey, who edged Australian Marinko Matosevic 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (7-9), 7-5.
World No. 3 Andy Murray, playing his first tournament since losing to Djokovic in the Australian Open final in January, got past tenacious Taiwanese Lu Yen-hsun 6-3, 6-2.
“I didn’t serve particularly well to get myself into those situations, and then I served well to get myself out of some tough situations,” Murray said.
The Scot next faces Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq, a 6-2, 6-2 winner over Japan’s Kei Nishikori.
Eighth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Canadian Milos Raonic set up a rematch of their record-breaking London Olympics clash, when Tsonga outlasted Raonic 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 in the second round.
The 48-game final set was the longest single set in Olympic history.
Tsonga held off American Mardy Fish 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-0) while Raonic rallied for a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Croatian Marin Cilic. — AFP