Indian Wells: Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic and third seed Andy Murray both had to work much harder than expected to book their places in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.
Top seed Djokovic lost his bearings in the second set before beating Italy's Fabio Fognini 6-0 5-7 6-2 while Murray had to dig himself out of an early hole on the way to a 5-7 6-2 6-2 win against Russian Evgeny Donskoy. "It was definitely a difficult challenge today," Serbian Djokovic said courtside after breaking the feisty Fognini in the fourth and eighth games of the third set to claim victory.
"Fabio played very well towards the end of the second set but it was all my fault," said the world number one, who squandered one match point in the 10th game of that set before being broken in the 11th when he netted a forehand. "I had a very bad game at 4-2, made a couple of unforced errors, got him back in the match. Next thing you know we're one set all and a couple of tight games. I'm just happy to get through."
Djokovic, who had stormed through the opening set in just 19 minutes, wrapped up his fourth win in four matches against Fognini when the 36th-ranked Italian netted a backhand. The Serb, a perfect 14-0 this year after winning the Australian Open in January and the Dubai Championships last week, will next meet Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, a 6-4 6-4 winner against Australia's Matthew Ebden.
"My confidence level is high obviously because of the run I had this year," Djokovic said. "Game-wise, everything works. I feel good about myself." U.S. Open champion Murray, showing signs of rust in his first tournament on the ATP circuit for six weeks, lost a wildly fluctuating opening set, where he trailed 1-5 at one point, before seizing control of the match.