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Djokovic Fends Off Hanescu, Dimitrov Extends Streak

Indian Wells, U.S.A.

Djokovic© Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic improves to 7-0 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head Series against Victor Hanescu.

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic recorded his 550th match win on Sunday night at the BNP Paribas Open, overcoming a tight first set to defeat Romanian Victor Hanescu 7-6(1), 6-2 in second-round action.

The two-time Indian Wells champion was unable to earn a single break point opportunity in the opening set, and needed to face down five on serve, including two set points for Hanescu. Djokovic then capitalised on his first chance for a 2-0 lead in the second set and broke Hanescu again to close the match.

Djokovic is the sixth active player to reach the 550 match wins milestone, behind Roger Federer (938), Rafael Nadal (674), Lleyton Hewitt (599), David Ferrer (565) and Tommy Haas (554).

He will continue his bid for a third Indian Wells title against Alejandro Gonzalez, who is making his ATP World Tour Masters 1000 debut this week.

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Gonzalez reached the third round by ousting No. 31 seed Ivan Dodig 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(5) in two hours and 17 minutes, overcoming 13 aces from the Croat. The Colombian had saved four match points in a first round win over Adrian Mannarino for his first tour-level victory.

Ernests Gulbis and Grigor Dimitrov will meet for the third time in four weeks, after both players advanced with straight-sets wins in their second-round matches. The 20th-seeded Gulbis dismissed Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-3, 6-3, and No. 15 seed Dimitrov followed with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Dutchman Robin Haase.

Gulbis won their first FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter in the Rotterdam second round, and Dimitrov avenged the loss in a late-night quarter-final battle that spanned two hours and 40 minutes last week in Acapulco. Dimitrov went on to claim the ATP World Tour 500 title.

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