Djokovic battles past Del Potro

By Dejan Kalinic 15 March 2017 121
Djokovic battles past Del Potro

Novak Djokovic survived a huge test from Juan Martin del Potro to remain on track for a fourth straight BNP Paribas Open title, reaching the last 16 on Tuesday.

The Serbian second seed claimed his second win over Del Potro this year, battling to a 7-5 4-6 6-1 victory at Indian Wells.

As expected, Djokovic was pushed by the big-hitting Argentinian, but he eventually came through in two hours, 17 minutes in the third-round clash.

He can anticipate a similar challenge next up, with Australian Nick Kyrgios – who beat him in Acapulco – awaiting him in the loaded quarter of the draw.

Djokovic is a five-time champion of the ATP 1000 event and he showed good signs to come from a break down in the opening set.

But he fell a double break and 4-1 behind in the second set, Del Potro momentarily losing concentration before closing it out.

The 2009 US Open champion's big serve got him out of trouble early in the third, but only briefly.

A series of excellent volleys helped Djokovic break for 3-1 as he took complete control, his victory sealed with a backhand winner down the line.

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Dejan Kalinic