Djokovic downs qualifier to cruise in Indian Wells opener
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) -- Novak Djokovic opened his bid for a third BNP Paribas Open championship with an easy victory Saturday, dispatching qualifier Andrey Golubev 6-3, 6-2.
The top-ranked Djokovic, a winner over Rafael Nadal last year in the finale at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and also the 2008 champion, is 23-4 on the slow PlexiPave courts that he said favor his game. The Serbian star will face South Africa's Kevin Anderson in the third round.
Djokovic also beat Golubev, from Kazakhstan, in the second round last year.
In the late match, Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez upset fourth-seeded Andy Murray of Scotland 6-4, 6-2.
Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki, the top seeds in the bottom half of the women's draw, took easy first steps toward a possible meeting in the semifinals.
The second-seeded Sharapova, the 2006 tournament champion, beat Gisella Dulko of Argentina, 6-2, 6-0 minutes to kick off the night session on Stadium Court after 2011 champion and No. 4 seed Wozniacki closed the afternoon schedule with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Ekaterina Makarova of Russia. In the third round, Sharapova will play Simona Halep of Romania, and Wozniacki will face Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden.
Americans John Isner and Andy Roddick won their opening matches, too. Isner, the No. 11 seed, posted a routine 7-5, 6-3 victory over Frederico Gil of Portugal. But Roddick, who is at his lowest ranking (31) since August 2001, needed a long three sets to dispatch Poland's Lukasz Kubot, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3.
Roddick, who will meet No. 8 seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in the third round, won the second-set tiebreaker with a forehand that appeared long, but went unchallenged. And he took control of the third set after Kubot needed a visit from an ATP Tour trainer for a back problem after holding serve for a 3-2 lead.
No. 8 seed Mardy Fish and teenager Ryan Harrison also won to make it a productive day for the American contingent.
Berdych got by Sergly Stakhovsky of the Ukraine, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-4. Frenchman Gilles Simon moved into the third round after a three-set win over qualifier Dudi Sela of Israel, but No. 16 seed Richard Gasquet of France was beaten by Albert Ramos of Spain, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1, after having a match point in the second set. American Robby Ginepri bowed to Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, the women's No. 15 seed, opened the day on Stadium Court with an easy 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Johanna Larsson of Sweden. No. 6 Samantha Stosur of Australia, No. 10 Francesca Schiavone of Italy, and No. 16 Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia also advanced. But No. 11 Sabiine Lisicki was upset, 6-1, 6-4, by Lourdes Dominguez-Lino of Spain.
It was a badly-needed win for Roddick, who has struggled with injuries this season, and it came after what he called an hour and a half of playing so poorly "I couldn't have hit a return into the ocean from the beach.
"I don't feel like I'd stolen a match in a while and I did today. I got a (good bounce on a) let cord to break (for a 4-3 lead in the third set) and it felt fantastic. I wasn't sorry at all, even though I said I was.''