Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Djokovic cruises into the 4th Rd @ Indian Wells

Third seed Novak Djokovic extended his perfect record this season to 14-0 by pulverising Ernests Gulbis 6-0 6-1 in the third round of the Indian Wells Masters.

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Seemingly in a rush to reach his third consecutive final this year, the Australian Open champion broke an error-prone Gulbis three times in the opening set and twice in the second to steamroll to victory in just under an hour.

The stands surrounding the showpiece stadium court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden were barely a quarter full when Djokovic fired down his fourth ace of the day to end a heavily lopsided match.

"I am just trying to play as best as I can," world number three Djokovic said courtside after beating the Latvian for a fourth time in five meetings. "I couldn't have asked for a better start to this year.

"The last three months have been unbelievable. I'm just trying to keep this going."

Djokovic, who claimed his second grand slam crown at the Australian Open in January and his 20th ATP World Tour title at last month's Dubai championships, was in imperious form against Gulbis.

Hitting his ground-strokes crisply from behind the baseline, he swept through the first set in only 26 minutes and then broke his 31st-seeded opponent for a fourth time early in the second to tighten his grip.

When Gulbis held serve for the only time in the match to trail 1-3 after a Djokovic forehand sailed wide, the crowd erupted with cheers and whistles in a bid to give the hapless Latvian a lift.

However Djokovic, champion here as a 20-year-old in 2008, again broke Gulbis in the seventh game before serving out to seal the win.

"You always expect a hard fight," the Serb said of his 22-year-old opponent, a gifted player who has yet to realise his rich potential. "He has very powerful groundstrokes and a strong serve.

"Today he made so many unforced errors, he made my life easy."

Courtesy: Eurosport & JustDjoker

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