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Djokovic wins another opener

Novak Djokovic may not be off to another perfect start to the year, but at least he is consistent when it comes to winning his opening match at the ATP/WTA Indian Wells Tournament.

Defending champion Djokovic defeated Andrey Golubev in the second round for the second year in a row, easily beating the Kazakh qualifier 6-3, 6-2 in a 62-minute center court match on Saturday.

Last year, Djokovic needed just 60 minutes to oust Golubev before going on to capture his second Indian Wells title.

“It was a good start,” Djokovic said. “We didn't play a beautiful match. There were a lot of unforced errors but it was the opening match and I am still trying to adjust to this court and get used to the conditions. Hopefully the next match will be better.” World No. 1 Djokovic, who came into Indian Wells last year riding a win streak that he eventually stretched to 41 matches, is now 11-1 on the season.

The lone blemish on his record being a lose in the Dubai semi-finals last week to Andy Murray, who takes the Indian Wells court in a later match.

Djokovic, who won his fifth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, advanced to the third round, where he will face South African Kevin Anderson, who won in a walkover when German Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew.

Djokovic broke Golubev to go up 5-2 in the second set, winning the game when his shot struck the net cord and dribbled over to the other side. That came after Golubev had double faulted three times earlier in the game. That allowed Djokovic to serve for the match and he clinched the victory on his second match point when Golubev failed to return the Serb's first serve. Former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic avenged a loss last year at Roland Garros by routing Johanna Larsson in straight sets.

The 24-year-old Serb, who won the Indian Wells title in 2008, improved to 2-1 lifetime against the Swede, needing just 61 minutes to dispatch Larsson in their second-round match 6-1, 6-2.

It marked the third career meeting between the two, with former world No. 1 Ivanovic having won two years ago in Luxembourg and Larsson winning last year on clay at the French Open.

“I didn't play good at the French Open, so I knew I had a better chance this time around,” Ivanovic said. “It was a bit of an awkward match, but I am still so happy to get that revenge and win.” Ivanovic broke Larsson's serve five times, including three times in the opening set. She had three aces and four double faults and posted a 67 percent success rate on first-serve points.

Four years ago, Ivanovic won at Indian Wells then went on to capture the French Open title.

Sixth-seeded Australian Samantha Stosur breezed past American wildcard Irina Falconi 6-0, 6-3.

The reigning US Open champion put on an impressive serving display, blasting four aces and registering an 83 percent success rate on first-serve points in the 48-minute match.

In other matches Saturday, Sweden's No. 1 Sofia Arvidsson cruised past Monica Niculescu 6-3, 6-3 and Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain surprised 11th-seeded Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 6-4.

On the men's side, Andy Roddick rallied to beat Lukasz Kubot 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 and Czech Tomas Berdych beat Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 6-4.

AFP

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