Second seed Novak Djokovic is through to the fourth round at Indian Wells, where he will now face resurgent Croat Marin Cilic. The two have met on seven previous occasions on the professional circuit, with the Djokovic vs Cilic Head to Head standing at 7-0.
World No. 2 Novak Djokovic wasted no time in his quick dissection of debuting Masters 1000 competitors Alejandro Gonzalez. The Serb earned a non-nonsense 6-1, victory to secure a spot in the fourth round of the tournament – avoiding the fate of some of his fellow top seeds in the third round. Djokovic raced to a 3-0 lead in the start of the first set, with one of his service games lasting a mere 58 seconds in the process. Gonzalez managed to avoid the dreaded bagel in the opening set but was unable to win more than one of his service games in that opening set.
The Colombian picked up the pace in the second set, remaining on serve until 3-3, before reeling off the next three straight games to force a deciding set. His luck would not extend much further, as Djokovic would shift into third gear and jump to a 3-0 lead in the set, before closing it out . It was a valiant performance from Gonzalez, who had never won an ATP World Tour contest prior to this week.
“But I obviously cannot allow myself to have these particular concentration lapses in the match at this level – especially in the next match when I’m playing Cilic, a guy who is in really good form and I think has gotten better in last couple of months working with [Goran] Ivanisevic.” Djokovic said after the match. “So I’m going to have to be on top of my game throughout the whole match in order to win it.
Marin Cilic advanced to the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Spain’s Tommy Robredo. Cilic played the match in quick fashion, as he won five consecutive games to take a set and a 3-0 lead before closing out the match in 82 minutes. The win also brought him to 16-1 in his last 17 contests, including titles in Zagreb, Delray Beach and finishing runner up in Rotterdam. The Croat is now scheduled to face world No. 2 Novak Djokovic for a place in the quarter-final round.
Djokovic holds a dominant 7-0 lead in the head-to-head series and will be looking to remain undefeated en route to the quarter-final round in Indian Wells. Cilic has only ever taken two sets off Djokovic in their seven meetings on the tour, yet the Croat has been in great form since the start of the season and will be standing across the net from Djokovic a confident, determined competitor, who can trouble the Serb long enough to snatch a set for the first time since 2010.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Three Sets