Defending champ Djokovic advances to third round
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Defending champion Novak Djokovic dispatched Marcos Baghdatis 6-1, 6-3 in 59 minutes to reach the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday night, improving his record to 8-0 against the Cypriot.
Djokovic hasn't lost a set to Baghdatis in their last three meetings dating to 2011. The Serb looked every inch the world's top-ranked men's player, connecting on 74 percent of his first serves and dictating from the baseline.
"I thought I had a very solid performance," Djokovic said on court. "I managed to stay aggressive from the baseline and served very well."
Djokovic is the defending champion at Indian Wells, where he is bidding to win his 50th career title. He's currently tied with coach Boris Becker at 49.
"It does feel that this is one of the strongest tournaments that we have on the tour after the Grand Slams," Djokovic said. "Maybe that is the case why it's difficult to win it twice in a row."
His only complaint is a minor problem with his left foot that he hopes "is going to fade away as the tournament goes."
Sixth-seeded Eugenie Bouchard beat Lucie Hradecka 6-2, 6-2 in two minutes less than Djokovic took on the same court. She broke the Czech six times in winning against Hradecka for the first time in three tries.
"I feel like I had a good groove going on," said Bouchard, who next plays 30th-seeded CoCo Vandeweghe, a 6-2, 6-3 winner over Sesil Karatantcheva.
Andy Murray beat Vasek Pospisil 6-1, 6-3, with the hard-serving Canadian making it easier with 35 unforced errors.
Two-time champion Maria Sharapova needed six match points before putting away Yanina Wickmeyer 6-1, 7-5 in her bid to become the first woman to win the tournament three times.
Kei Nishikori beat American Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-4, while defending women's champion Flavia Pennetta easily advanced on a 91-degree day in the desert.
Nishikori dispatched Harrison in 1 1/2 hours despite struggling with his first serve. The fifth-ranked Japanese player reached the third round at Indian Wells for the first time in eight tries.
Harrison fell to 1-24 against top-10 players in his career.
Pennetta beat American Madison Brengle 6-4, 6-2 as the Italian opened defense of the biggest title of her career. She is looking to rebound from a poor start this year, having lost in the first round in Sydney and the Australian Open.
Other women's winners were: No. 4 seed Caroline Wozniacki, fifth-seeded Ana Ivanovic, No. 11 Sara Errani, and No. 16 Madison Keys, who got an on-court visit from her coach and former world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport, applauded by fans who recognized her.
Keys beat Klara Koukalova 6-3, 6-2 in her first tournament since her run to the Australian Open semifinals in January.
On the men's side, Juan Monaco upset No. 10 Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4, while No. 16 Kevin Anderson, No. 26 Phillip Kohlschreiber, and No. 28 Fernando Verdasco all won in straight sets. No. 23 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez lost to wild card Thanasi Kokkinakis, 6-4, 6-1, and No. 25 Julien Benneteau was beaten by Albert Ramos-Vinolas, 6-2, 6-3.