• ATP Tour

Djokovic fumbles his way past Fognini

ESPN staff
March 11, 2013
Novak Djokovic was pushed harder than he would have expected by Fabio Fognini at Indian Wells © AP

Novak Djokovic extended his winning streak to 19 matches with a 6-0 5-7 6-2 victory over Fabio Fognini in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.

Djokovic, who lost to John Isner in the semi-finals a year ago, appeared to lose focus as he allowed the enigmatic Fognini to force an expected third set in their entertaining encounter.

The world No. 1 held serve for a 5-2 lead in the final set, then had a pair of match points after a crisp forehand to the corner. Fognini saved the first, but lost both his serve and the match when he hit a seemingly easy backhand into the net.

Djokovic blamed himself for the second-set loss.

"One thing is for sure," he said. "When you win 6-0 first set you need to be a little extra focused for the start of the second because the player will definitely change something in his tactics, in his game and will try to come back. That's what happened.

"He's a good player on this surface. He made me work. He made me earn my points. But in the end I have done what I need to do. The W is there, so I feel good about myself."

Andy Murray also dropped a set as he earned a 5-7 6-2 6-2 win over Evgeny Donskoy of Russia. Murray, the No. 3 seed at the $10 million event, had lost his opening match at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in each of the past two years.

Eighth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat wildcard entry James Blake 7-6(6) 6-4. There was better news for Blake's compatriot Mardy Fish, who earned a 6-3 3-6 6-4 win over Bobby Reynolds.

Fish played his first competitive match of the year after not playing since last September because of a heart condition. "It's been a tough few months, for sure. You sort of feel like it was a win just to go back out there," he said.

"There's a lot of people that have sort of dealt with what I've dealt with and not come back. It's nice to just play, first and foremost, and then you get out there and you want to win.

"You want to stay within yourself a little bit and not get too fired up or too low or too high or anything like that. Then all of a sudden you find yourself in the third set, you know, deep in the third set losing (4-2), and some of that sort of fight starts kicking in and you want to win.

In other men's matches, No. 7 Juan Martin Del Potro ousted Nikolay Davydenko 6-3 6-4; No. 19 Tommy Haas beat Pablo Andujar of Spain 6-3 7-6(0); Marinko Matosevic of Australia upset No. 14 Juan Monaco 7-5 6-0; and Nicolas Almagro of Spain topped Daniel Gimeno-Traver 7-5 6-1.

This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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