INDIAN WELLS, California, March 12 (Reuters) - Sam Querrey was the last man to taste victory against Novak Djokovic but he may have to step outside his comfort zone to beat the world number one again when they meet in the BNP Paribas Open fourth round on Wednesday.
Querrey came from behind to beat the Serb 0-6 7-6 6-4 in the second round of the ATP Masters 1000 event in Paris last October. Since then, Djokovic has remained unbeaten for 20 matches, while starting this year with a perfect 15-0 record.
“That was five months ago,” Querrey said of his only victory against the Serb, the top seed at Indian Wells.
“I’m just going to hopefully play well, hopefully be aggressive, hopefully on those break points, deuce points, have some balls go my way. I’m going to try and just enjoy it out there.”
American Querrey had lost to Djokovic in their four previous encounters before Paris and at Indian Wells he will face a player who has triumphed in his first two events of the year, the Australian Open and Dubai Championships.
“He (Djokovic) does everything really well,” the big-serving Querrey told reporters after scraping past Australian Marinko Matosevic 7-6 6-7 7-5 on Tuesday to reach the last 16 here for only the second time.
“He has an unbelievable forehand, an unbelievable backhand, moves around the court great, returns great. I might have to go outside of my comfort zone a little bit and do things I don’t like to do, and hopefully it will pay off for me.”
Djokovic, who believes he is very close to his dominant form of 2011 when he began the year with a 41-match winning streak before ending his campaign with a career-best 10 ATP titles, has also consigned that Paris encounter to the history books.
“It’s been a long time,” the six-times grand slam champion said after recovering from a rocky start to book his place in the fourth round with a 7-6 6-1 victory over Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov on Tuesday.
“It’s been a few months and I’ve played a few tournaments since then. I won four times against him. Yes, he has won the last encounter indoors, but different circumstances and conditions so we’ll see.
“We’ll play in front of his crowd and he has a big serve and big game and he can come up with the goods when needed. He loves to play also on a big stage.”
Djokovic’s only slight concerns were his error-strewn start on Tuesday and the fact that on Wednesday he would be playing in the evening for the first time at this year’s event.
“During the night it’s a bit slower, so we’ll see how that goes,” said the Serb, who won the title here in 2008 and 2011 after losing to Spaniard Rafa Nadal in the 2007 final.
“And I will need to definitely start better than I have done today, and try to step into the court a little bit more. From my standard, I haven’t brought my game to the level I wanted.” (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Peter Rutherford)