Although he was stretched to three sets by Alejandro Gomez today, second seed Novak Djokovic still reached the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open 2014 with relative ease. Their first match on the tour started with the World no. 2 building a double break cushion to create a 5-0 lead and the best the unseeded Colombian could do in the opener was to avoid a bagel before ultimately surrendering the set. However, he raised the level of his game in the set number two where he put enough pressure on the favorite to convert on his solitary break point of the day and eventually get back on level terms. Nole took the warning seriously and the story of the opening set would be repeated in the decider as the Serb again went two breaks clear before serving out the clash to win 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. Djokovic, who was crowned the king of Indian Wells in 2008 and 2011, will face 24th-seeded Marin Cilic in the last 16 – the Croat advanced by defeating seed number sixteen Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6-3. Novak has a spotless 7-0 head-to-head record against his fourth round opponent.
“It took me a little bit [of time] to get used to his game,” said Djokovic. “But I thought I played really well from the start… Then suddenly I just had a big loss of concentration and allowed him to win the second set for no reason. [I] bounced back better in the third.”
Twelfth seed John Isner, who finished runner-up in 2012, also turned in a fine performance against Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei as he cruised to a straight sets victory without having to deal with a break point danger. The home hope won 6-4, 6-3 and will now square off against Fernando Verdasco who stunned eighth seed Frenchman Richard Gasquet to record a 7-6 (5), 6-1 victory. The 30th-seeded Spaniard kept his serve intact despite confronting eight break point threats over the course of the third-round clash at the Stadium 2.