Djokovic advances at Indian Wells
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Rafael Nadal survived his strongest challenge yet at the BNP Paribas Open, beating qualifier Somdev Devvarman 7-5, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
The world's top-ranked player dominated his first two matches, dropping just six games while winning in straight sets. But he was challenged from the start by Devvarman, the first Indian ever to reach the fourth round at Indian Wells.
No. 2-ranked Roger Federer, a three-time champion at Indian Wells, defeated wild card Ryan Harrison 7-6 (4), 6-3, improving to 17-2 this year.
It was the 18-year-old American's third loss to a top-10 player in his career.
Nadal, a two-time winner here, won a tight first set, then held serve to lead 5-4 in the second. He got some breathing room on Devvarman's serve, going up 40-love and sending a forehand past the 26-year-old Indian at the net to close out the match.
"The first set for me was really bad because I wasn't able to play aggressive with my forehand," Nadal said. "I played much better in the end of the match than in the beginning."
Nadal improved to 29-4 at Indian Wells, where he's made the semifinals or better the last five years, winning in 2007 and '09.
Novak Djokovic extended his winning streak to 15 matches with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over fellow Serb Viktor Troicki.
Djokovic, ranked third in the world, has lost just six games in his first three matches at Indian Wells, where he won the 2008 title. Djokovic's perfect match record this year includes winning titles at the Australian Open and Dubai, where he beat Roger Federer in the final.
Troicki, the 16th seed, hadn't lost a set here until he ran into Djokovic on a day when temperatures in the desert soared to near 90 degrees — 10 to 15 degrees warmer than usual for the second straight day.
Troicki came into the match with a 14-5 record, but Djokovic dominated from the beginning in winning for the eighth straight time against him. Djokovic's last loss came in November against Federer in the ATP World Tour finals in London.
Djokovic and Troicki later teamed up for a doubles match and lost.
Eighth-seeded Andy Roddick fought his temper and No. 18 Richard Gasquet, losing 6-3, 7-6 (5). It was Gasquet's second win over a top-10 player this week, having taken out No. 10 Jurgen Melzer in the third round.
"He outplayed me from the first ball. He was obviously very confident," Roddick said. "I tried to force it and be more aggressive in the second, but when you play that way, it starts coming in bunches. You win in bunches and you lose in bunches."
Roddick argued with the chair umpire when he trailed 3-1 in the second set, telling the umpire he was giving him a warning of his own. He rallied to lead 6-5 before a backhand error allowed Gasquet to force the tiebreaker.
"With the mistakes he made, it's only fair that I would give him a warning," Roddick said. "I only made one mistake. I only broke one racket. He missed a couple of calls, so I feel like it was a little presumptuous of him to give me a warning off one broken racket."
Roddick fell behind 5-2 in the tiebreaker, tossing his racket when Gasquet hit a winner into the corner off his drop shot. Roddick rallied again, hitting a forehand winner on the run to get to 5-5. Gasquet got to match point, with Roddick's first serve just missing. The Frenchman hit a backwinner off his second serve to close out the match.
Juan Martin del Potro beat his third seeded player, this time taking out No. 32 Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (3), 7-6 (7).
Del Potro, from Argentina, improved his match record to 17-4 this year as he rebounds from an injury-marred 2010. He has surged from No. 484 to 90th in the world rankings in a three-week span, winning a title at Delray Beach, Fla., and reaching the semifinals in two other tournaments.
Now, Del Potro is into the quarterfinals, where he will play 25th-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain. Robredo beat 21st-seeded American Sam Querrey 6-1, 6-3.
Earlier in the tournament, Del Potro beat defending champion and No. 14 seed Ivan Ljubicic and No. 20 Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine.
In other matches, No. 7 Tomas Berdych lost in three sets to Stanislas Wawrinka, and No. 23 Albert Montanes fell to Ivo Karlovic.
In women's quarterfinals, Yanina Wickmayer beat No. 10 seed Shahar Peer 6-3, 6-3 and No. 15 Marion Bartoli ended Ana Ivanovic's run with a 6-4, 7-6 (4).