Bulgaria’s Dimitrov to play Djokovic at Indian Wells

Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov has booked his place in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells with ease and will play world number one Novak Djokovic, who survived a late challenge from his second-round opponent, Fabio Fognini, to progress.

Dimitrov took only 67 minutes to defeat Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden 6-4, 6-4, but managed to convert only two of his eight break points.

Djokovic, for his part, started strongly against Fognini, winning 10 of the first 11 games before his opponent mounted a comeback and force a decisive third set. The world number one rallied back to win 6-0, 5-7, 6-2.

“Mentally I was there,” Djokovic said after the match. “Confidence level is high obviously because of the run I had this year. Game wise, everything works. I had a very bad game at 4-2, couple of unforced errors, got him back in the match. Next thing you know, we’re one set all and a couple of tight games.

“But look, I’m not concerned. I know I have been in this situation before where I had minor setbacks in a match, especially in the opening matches where I’m trying to get used to the court, the conditions, and so forth.”

Djokovic, a two-time champion at Indian Wells (in 2008 and 2011) is now on a 14-0 streak since the start of the year. Dimitrov, meanwhile, has already improved on last year’s showing at Indian Wells, when he exited in the second round after losing to fifth-seed David Ferrer.

Dimitrov and Djokovic have only played once before, in last year’s Shanghai Masters, with the Serbian winning handily 6-3, 6-2. Their match is scheduled for March 12.

(Grigor Dimitrov at the 2011 Western & Southern Open. Photo: mirsasha/flickr.com)



The Sofia Globe staff

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