(March 10, 2013) After a second set hiccup, Novak Djokovic won his 19th straight match, 13th in 2013 to notch a victory over Fabio Fognini 6-0, 5-7, 6-2 at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.
Djokovic was not concerned about his second set lapse. “It’s the first match in the tournament,” Djokovic said. “It’s my first hit this year on the center court. I started really, really good and I felt great physically.
“Mentally I was there, you know. Confidence level is high obviously because of the run I had this year. Game wise, everything works. I had a very bad game on 4 2, couple of unforced errors, got him back in the match. And that’s tennis, you know. Next thing you know we’re one set all and a couple of tight games.
“But look, I’m not concerned, you know. I know I have been in this situation before where I had minor setbacks in a match, especially in the opening matches where I’m trying to get used to the court, the conditions, so forth.
He’s a good player on this surface. I mean, it’s a very slow surface. It bounces high. He loves playing on clay. He loves playing on slow surfaces. He made me work. He made me earn my points.
“In the end, I have done what I needed to do. The W is there, so I feel good about myself.”
Djokovic added, “He (Fognini) is unpredictable as a player, you know. He’s unpredictable with his behavior on the court, also. I mean, I know him really well. We grew up together. We know each other since we were 12 because we are same generation.
“But sometimes it’s funny what he does. Sometimes it’s a bit annoying because you don’t know what’s coming up next. He started playing better.”
The world No. 1 will face Grigor Dimitrov next.
No. 3 Andy Murray had to fight for a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 win over Evgeny Donskoy earlier in the day on Sunday. It was Murray’s first win at Indian Wells since 2010 – he lost opening matches in 2011 and 2012.
“I have not played a match for five so you can’t expect to play your best tennis straightaway,” said Murray who has not played since the Australian Open final, where he lost to Djokovic.
“He started off well and I started off slowly. Even once I got back into the match at 5-all (after being down 5-1 in the first set) he played some good stuff. Once I got into a rhythm, I was able to dictate more of the points.”
“He played some good stuff. He’s quite an easy player. He doesn’t force anything. I think he’s pretty smart on the court, too. He doesn’t kind of go for shots that aren’t on and doesn’t make many mistakes.”
2006 Indian Wells champion Maria Sharapova battled past Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5, 6-3 move into the round of 16.
The second seed was subjected to long rallies.
“I thought it was a tough one,” Sharapova said. “I thought. She’s a quality player. She’s capable of playing really good tennis. I think this is, you know, the best that she’s been ranked.
“As far as consistency, this is the most consistent she’s ‑‑ the results have been so consistent in the last year.
“She’s dangerous. She’s beaten top players in Grand Slams before, you know. She has a really solid game, a lot of variety, but she can hit the ball, as well.”