Three-time Indian Wells champion Novak Djokovic overcame a test from world no.68 Albert Ramos-Vinolas, securing a 7-5, 6-3 victory in the BNP Paribas Open third round on Monday night.
The Spaniard made a great start to the match as he raced to a 3-1 lead. Novak got back on track and won the next four games for 5-3. Ramos broke once again to level, but Djokovic converted his chance in the 12th game to take the opening set 7-5 in 49 minutes.
Nole claimed the lone break of the second set in the eighth game and served out the match to seal his 38th win at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The top seed improved to a 16-2 match record on the season.
“It wasn’t as good as the first round, that’s for sure, but a win is a win,” said Novak. “I did struggle a lot, had some unforced errors. From the back of the court I didn’t feel so great. But towards the end of the match was better, so hopefully it can be better in the next one too. I definitely need to work tomorrow on the balance and hopefully in the next one there will be fewer mistakes.”
Match statistics: aces (1-2), double faults (3-4), winners (18-6), unforced errors (32-28), total points won (69-51).
Novak will face 18th-seeded American John Isner in the last 16 on Wednesday about 20.30 local time (Thursday 04.30 CET).
The two have clashed seven times, with the Serb leading 5-2 in their ATP H2H series.
Looking ahead to the fourth round meeting, the world no.1 said: “It will be totally different against Isner, not as many rallies. There will be a lot of serves, returns. Got to be ready to battle for the few points that will decide that match. He has a big serve. His entire game depends on his serve. He serves a high percentage of first serves and can beat any player on any surface. If he has a good day with serving, it’s going to be very difficult for me.”
Djokovic is bidding to capture his 50th career crown and second title of the season.
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