Nole continued his run at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Monday, dismissing Kevin Anderson of South Africa in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3 in 1 hour and 37 minutes.
After saving a break point in the fifth game of the opening set, the top seed and defending champion made a double break for 6-2 in 54 minutes.
A break in the sixth game of the second set was enough for the Serb to close out a comfortable victory.
“The opening set, especially opening five games, took half an hour or more,” said Novak. “He’s very aggressive on the return games. He has a great serve, as you can imagine for his height, so I had to return well. I had to just be patient, and wait for my chances.”
Match statistics: aces (5-7), double faults (3-2), winners (17-21) unforced errors (18-27), total points won (71-54).
Djokovic converted 3 of his 6 break point opportunities to advance into the fourth round of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event for the sixth year in a row.
The 24-year-old Belgrade native improved to 12-1 on the year, highlighted by triumph in Melbourne at the first Grand Slam of the season.
He goes on to play no.45 in the ATP rankings, Pablo Andujar, who defeated fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos 7-6(5), 6-4.
Novak won their only previous encounter in Umag 2007, 6-1, 6-3.