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Djokovic slugs it out against Dimitrov at Indian Wells

Djokovic was on the ropes in the opening set against the 21-year-old Bulgarian, who raced to a 4-1 lead and served for the set at 5-3.

But Dimitrov served up four double faults in the ninth game and was broken, and that was the only opening that Djokovic needed.


Serbian Novak Djokovic returns to Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov at Indian Wells on Tuesday. Pic/AFP

“It was not really a beautiful match to watch,” Djokovic said. “There were a lot of unforced errors, and we both looked quite sluggish on the court, very slow,” he added.

He’ll now meet Sam Querrey, who edged Australian Marinko Matosevic 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (7/9), 7-5.

Meanwhile, World No 3 Andy Murray, playing his first tournament since losing to Djokovic in the Australian Open final in January, got past tenacious Taiwanese Lu Yen-Hsun 6-3, 6-2.

The Scot next faces Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq, a 6-2, 6-2 winner over Japan’s Kei Nishikori. Germany’s Tommy Haas saved a match point en route to a 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 7-6 (7/2) victory over Spain’s Nicolas Almagro.

Top seed and defending champion Victoria Azarenka and second-seeded Maria Sharapova led the way into the women’s quarter-finals of this combined ATP Masters and WTA event. Azarenka shook off a sore ankle to beat Urszula Radwanska 6-3, 6-1 and Sharapova stepped up her game in the second set to beat 87th-ranked Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino 7-5, 6-0. 

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