Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Djokovic avenges loss; Federer, Nadal to meet

Novak Djokovic, shown in last year's BNP Paribas Open, seeks
his third Indian Wells singles title. Photo by Paul Bauman
   For the second straight meeting, Novak Djokovic drubbed Sam Querrey 6-0 in the first set.
   This time, however, Djokovic won the match.
   In a match that ended at 1:51 a.m. PDT Thursday, the top-ranked Djokovic eliminated No. 23 Sam Querrey 6-0, 7-6 (6) in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.
   “It was very similar to Bercy," Djokovic said on www.bnpparibasopen.com, referring to his 0-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 loss to Querrey in the second round of the Paris Masters last October. "I had a few unforced errors, and he started to play better. That’s why he came back. But I felt throughout the whole match, I had control and was moving and hitting well, so I’m very happy with the performance.”
   Djokovic is 21-0 since the Paris Masters and 16-0 this year. The 25-year-old Serb, who won Indian Wells in 2008 and 2011, will meet eighth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France on Friday in the quarterfinals. Tsonga edged 17th-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.
   Second-seeded Roger Federer and fifth-seeded Rafael Nadal will renew their storied rivalry Thursday at 7 (Tennis Channel) in the quarterfinals. It will be their earliest meeting since their first one, a 6-3, 6-3 victory by Nadal in the round of 32 at Miami in 2004. Nadal recently returned to the circuit after missing seven months with a knee injury and virus.
   Nadal, 26, leads the 31-year-old Federer 18-10 in their head-to-head series. Federer, though, leads 6-5 on hardcourts, including a 6-3, 6-4 victory in last year's semifinals at Indian Wells.   
   Querrey, a San Francisco native and part-time member of the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis, will replace John Isner as the No. 1 American when the new rankings are released Monday.
   Querrey will return to the top 20 after reaching a career-high No. 17 in January 2011. Later that year, the 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) right-hander underwent right elbow surgery and plunged to No. 125.
   The 6-foot-9 (2.06-meter) Isner, ranked 15th, lost to 32-year-old Lleyton Hewitt in the second round at Indian Wells after reaching last year's final.
   Meanwhile, the comeback tournament of part-time Capital Mardy Fish ended.
   The wild-card team of Fish and fellow American James Blake lost to unseeded Treat Huey, a Washington, D.C., native who plays for the Philippines, and Jerzy Janowicz of Poland 7-5, 6-2 in the doubles quarterfinals. Janowicz is 6-foot-8 (2.04 meters), and Huey is 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters).
   Fish won the 2009 doubles title at Indian Wells with close friend Andy Roddick, who retired last September at 30, and upset Federer in the 2008 singles semifinals before losing to Djokovic.
   Seeded 32nd in singles this year, Fish lost to Tsonga in the third round on Tuesday.
   Fish, a 31-year-old Los Angeles-area resident, had been sidelined for six months with heart palpitations.

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