World No. 2 Novak Djokovic will look to return to his winning ways tomorrow afternoon when he meets Romania’s Victor Hanescu in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Djokovic leads the head-to-head series 6-0, with wins on three separate surfaces.
The tournament’s second seed, Novak Djokovic, will look to rebound from a surprisingly slow start to his season, where he lost the Australian Open for the first time in his last four attempts and also failed to retain the Dubai title he won last year, losing in a semi-final match to reigning champion Roger Federer. The Serb will be aiming to end Rafael Nadal’s reign at Indian Wells and make an emphatic statement at the season’s first ATP Masters 1000 event.
“It’s a different feel, definitely,” said Djokovic in a press conference on Friday. “I won the Australian Open title three consecutive years and that has significantly affected the confidence level in the start of the season and all the tournaments that were following up. This year it’s not the case. But, again, I have still a lot of confidence because I’m playing well. I’m feeling good about myself. As I said, when you work hard and when you trust your instincts and you have that self belief on the court, the results will come.”
World No. 87 Victor Hanescu reached the second round in Indian Wells with a 7-5 3-6 6-4 victory over Stephanie Roberts. Hanescu recorded an impressive first serve percentage of 70% and hit eight aces to earn his victory over Robert. His next opponent is a significant step up in competition, yet he is well acquainted with the task at hand considering their frequent meetings on the tour.
This marks the seventh time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Djokovic leading the head-to-head series 6-0. Hanescu’s best performances against Djokovic were on clay courts, which will not benefit him tomorrow afternoon, as the world No. 2 will be determined to start his 2014 Indian Wells campaign with a dominant win.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Straight Sets