A two-time BNP Paribas Open title holder Novak Djokovic reached the third round of the Indian Wells Masters after beating World no. 78 Victor Hanescu 7-6 (1), 6-2. The highest-ranked Romanian caused the second seed all sorts of trouble in the opener where the Serb escaped a triple break point danger in the sixth game before fending off a couple of set points just before the tie-break. However, Nole showed his class in the thirteenth game and swept away the opponent to close out the opening set. He shifted into a higher gear in the following one and rushed to a 3-0 lead before adding another break to seal his 550th match win and set up a clash against Alejandro Gomez of Colombia.
Fourth seed Tomas Berdych suffered an early exit from the tournament as he was stunned by Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, ranked 53rd. The Czech, who was leading the head-to-head score 2-0 prior to the second-round encounter, managed to turn around the dramatic opener, but was always the second best in the set number two where his rival broke twice to force a decider. In the final set Berdych again recovered from an early deficit, but could not complete a comeback as the Spanish player restored his one break lead before converting on the first match point for a surprising 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 triumph. He will square off against Jarkko Nieminen in round three.
“He was a tough opponent… [and] really handled the tough situation today really well,” said Berdych. “Anything I touched today was basically bad and was wrong. It [was] definitely my worst match that I had this year. I was late everywhere. I was not hitting the ball cleanly and that’s it.”
Richard Gasquet, seed number eight, won the opening eight games against Russian Teymuraz Gabashivili before the latter retired from the second-round clash due to illness. End score: 6-0, 2-0 ret. The Frenchman is scheduled to play Fernando Verdasco in the last 16.
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