Djokovic, Jankovic win at Indian Wells | Inquirer Sports

Djokovic, Jankovic win at Indian Wells

/ 11:42 AM March 12, 2014

Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, volleys with Alejandro Gonzalez, of Colombia, in a third round match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, in Indian Wells, Calif. AP

INDIAN WELLS, California  — Novak Djokovic defeated Alejandro Gonzalez 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 to end the Colombian’s surprising run to the third round at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday.

Djokovic, a two-time champion at Indian Wells, earned the only two breaks of the third set, including a seven-deuce game that he closed out with a clever backhand drop volley.

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Gonzalez had never won an ATP Tour-level match in six tries before Indian Wells. He won third-set tiebreakers in his first two matches here before keeping the world’s second-ranked man on the court for just over 1 1/2 hours.

“It took me a little bit to get used to it,” Djokovic said. “You’ve got new faces and new players who are able to challenge the top guys, and this is good for the sport. It also makes us work harder and improve trying to get our game to a high level because the guys are coming up.”

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Djokovic had 28 winners to 11 for Gonzalez, who also had 23 unforced errors.

“I just had a big loss of concentration and allowed him to win the second set for no reason,” Djokovic said. “Bounced back better in the third, but I obviously cannot allow myself to have these particular concentration lapses in the match at this level.”

Djokovic next plays Marin Cilic of Croatia, who beat Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6-3.

elena Jankovic routed Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals, winning a matchup of former tournament champions and No. 1-ranked players.

Jankovic next plays either second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska or 22nd-seeded Alize Cornet, who met late in a fourth-round match.

Top-seeded Li Na played Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada, and American John Isner took on Yen-Hsun Lu of Taipei in night matches.

Jankovic made the quarterfinals for the first time since winning the Indian Wells title in 2010, when she beat Wozniacki. The Dane won the title in 2011 and lost to Maria Sharapova in last year’s final.

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But she offered little resistance against Jankovic, who raced to 5-0 in the second set before Wozniacki held at 40-love to avoid being shut out in front of her fiance, golfer Rory McIlroy.

“I kind of found my way, found my rhythm, and I was striking the ball very well out there and took control of the points,” Jankovic said. “I just did not let her play what she plays. That was very important.”

Jankovic was the world’s top-ranked player in 2008. Wozniacki reached the top spot in 2010; she’s now No. 12. Jankovic, ranked eighth, was the first top-10 player Wozniacki has faced so far this year.

Jankovic ended a five-match skid against Wozniacki, with the Serb having recovered from a back problem that occurred in her match two nights earlier. Jankovic didn’t hit on Monday and felt too stiff to put her shoes on.

“I went on court today not knowing how I was going to feel, if I was going to be limited with my movement or if I was going to play my game,” she said. “But I did and I was surprised.”

American Lauren Davis withdrew from her match against qualifier Casey Dellacqua of Australia because of a gastrointestinal illness. Dellacqua advanced to the quarters against No. 6 seed Simona Halep of Romania, who beat Eugenie Bouchard of Canada, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4.

In other men’s matches, Fernando Verdasco of Spain beat No. 8 seed Richard Gasquet, 7-6 (5), 6-1; and Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain beat Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (6).

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TAGS: BNP Paribas Open, Caroline Wozniacki, Indian Wells, Jelena Jankovic, Novak Djokovic Alejandro Gonzalez, Sports, Tennis
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