March 11 (Reuters) - Normal service resumed at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Tuesday when Novak Djokovic safely booked his place in the fourth round.
The Serbian had a little hiccup when he dropped the second set of his match with Colombia’s Alejandro Gonzalez but was otherwise untroubled in winning 6-1 3-6 6-1.
While he was not at his best, Djokovic did at least survive to fight another day in the Californian desert after the shock losses of Rafa Nadal and Maria Sharapova the previous night.
Djokovic’s next opponent is the big-serving Croatian Marin Cilic, who recorded his 20th win this season with a 6-4 6-3 over Spain’s Tommy Robredo.
While Robredo lost, three of his countrymen all advanced with Fernando Verdasco upsetting world number nine Richard Gasquet of France 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 to leave Djokovic as the only top-10 player left in the bottom half of the men’s draw.
Roberto Bautista Agut held his nerve to beat Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen 6-2 4-6 7-6 (8-6) before Feliciano Lopez joined the Spanish Armada with a 1-6 6-3 6-4 defeat of Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.
In the women’s draw, Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic ended her five-match losing streak to Denmark’s Carolina Wozniacki when she reeled off 10 consecutive games to win 6-3 6-1 and advance to the quarter-finals.
“At 3-1, I kind of found my way, found my rhythm, and I was striking the ball very well out there and took control of the points,” said Jankovic.
“I just did not let her play what she plays. That was very important. So I was pretty pleased with the way I played and how composed I stayed throughout the whole match.”
Romania’s Simona Halep also qualified for the last eight with a hard-fought 6-2 1-6 6-4 win over Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard after trailling 4-3 in the deciding set.
“It wasn’t my best tennis today, but I was fighting a lot,” said Halep, ranked seventh in the world. “I did well. I think I came back in the third set very well.”
Halep’s next match will be against the Australian qualifier Casey Dellacqua, who got a walkover to the quarter-finals after her American Lauren Davis retired with gastrointestinal illness. (Reporting by Julian Linden in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)