Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray battle through at Indian Wells

Pair reach the third round of the BNP Paribas Open

Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic and third seed Andy Murray both had to work much harder than expected to book their places in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.

Top seed Djokovic lost his bearings in the second set before beating Italy's Fabio Fognini 6-0 5-7 6-2 while Murray had to dig himself out of an early hole on the way to a 5-7 6-2 6-2 win against Russian Evgeny Donskoy.

"It was definitely a difficult challenge today," Serbian Djokovic said courtside after breaking the feisty Fognini in the fourth and eighth games of the third set to claim victory.

"Fabio played very well towards the end of the second set but it was all my fault," said the world number one, who squandered one match point in the 10th game of that set before being broken in the 11th when he netted a forehand.

"I had a very bad game at 4-2, made a 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. I'm just happy to get through."

Djokovic, who had stormed through the opening set in just 19 minutes, wrapped up his fourth win in four matches against Fognini when the 36th-ranked Italian netted a backhand.

The Serb, a perfect 14-0 this year after winning the Australian Open in January and the Dubai Championships last week, will next meet Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, a 6-4 6-4 winner against Australia's Matthew Ebden.

"My confidence level is high obviously because of the run I had this year," Djokovic said. "Game-wise, everything works. I feel good about myself."

U.S. Open champion Murray, showing signs of rust in his first tournament on the ATP circuit for six weeks, lost a wildly fluctuating opening set, where he trailed 1-5 at one point, before seizing control of the match.

BLAZING SUNSHINE

In blazing desert sunshine at Indian Wells, the 25-year-old Scotsman broke Donskoy's serve twice in the second set and also in the third before sealing victory after two hours 17 minutes when his opponent sent a backhand service return long.

"I've struggled here the past couple of years, I haven't won a match," said Murray, who had not played competitively since losing to Djokovic in the Australian Open final.

"I was a little bit nervous in the beginning and he started very, very well ... he came up with some unbelievable shots. I just tried to hang in there and was hitting the ball much better by the second set."

World number three Murray, a runner-up at Indian Wells in 2009 and a losing quarter-finalist in 2010, said he had initially struggled against the 83rd-ranked Russian's style of play.

"I never saw him play before, so you don't know the patterns particularly well," he added. "He's pretty smart on the court, too. He doesn't kind of go for shots that aren't on and doesn't make many mistakes.

"And I have not played a match for six weeks, so you can't expect to play your best tennis straightaway. He played some really good stuff in the first set. Once I got into more of a rhythm I was able to dictate more of the points."

The 22-year-old Donskoy was playing against a top-10 opponent for only the second time in his career. He lost to 10th-ranked fellow Russian Mikhail Youzhny in the second round at St. Petersburg in 2010.

In other matches, American Mardy Fish made a triumphant return to the ATP Tour after being sidelined since last year's U.S. Open because of a heart condition, battling past compatriot Bobby Reynolds 6-3 3-6 6-4.

Eighth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat American wildcard James Blake 7-6 6-4, Nicolas Almagro swept past fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 7-5 6-1 and Germany's Tommy Haas beat Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-3 7-6.

Reuters

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders