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Djokovic Squelches Istomin, Del Potro Resists to Reach 3rd Round

No one these days can touch Novak Djokovic.  Djokovic cruised through his second round match at the Sony Ericsson Open.  The Serb thrashed Denis Istomin 6-0, 6-1 to book a spot in the next round against American James Blake.

It’s perhaps safe to surmise that Denis Istomin had a feeling of impeding doom prior to his match.  Of late, most players seeing Djokovic across the net would share a similar uneasiness.

After having a bagel besides his name in the first set, Istomin held his first service game of the second set.  However Istomin’s, next time around, Djokovic obtained the break.

Djokovic went down double break point while trying to consolidate.  Any notion of Istomin showing signs of life were quickly eradicated as Djokovic guarded serve for 4-1.

For Istomin the winners were too few while the errors were many.  Consequently, it took Djokovic just 48 minutes to dispatch his adversary.

Subsequent to the match, wanted to know:  You’ve played so much tennis, is it helpful that tonight’s match was so short?
DJOKOVIC:  Definitely helpful.  In opening rounds. . . you’re trying to get used to the conditions and you don’t want to underestimate your opponent.  So you want to step into the court and try to be focused from the start and try to get as quickly as possible out of the court.  I did a great job tonight.

Djokovic has yet to surrender a match this season, as such, inquired:  you’ve been unbeatable this year, does playing so well bring another level of pressure to maintain that high standard of play?
DJOKOVIC:  Yes.  But, I’m not thinking too much about being unbeaten this year or, what it carries with it, some kind of pressure or expectations.
I got used to that.  I’m playing for many years already on a high level in professional tennis, and I’m using this experience this year to be able to perform my best on the court.
I’m fresh mentally, motivated to have even more success.  I’m looking [forward] to upcoming challenges. . . I need to stay physically fit and healthy in order to be consistent [and] success[ful].

As far as his next round encounter with Blake, Djokovic responded:  “He’s a great competitor.  He’s very exciting to watch.  He hits the ball very clean, very powerful.  He’s a great mover.  He’s very fast.  He [will have] a lot of support from the crowd.  It’s definitely not an easy one”.

Djokovic has teamed up with Andy Murray in doubles.  Murray was upset earlier in the day.  Therefore, he was asked about “Andy having no confidence at the moment”.  Djokovic replied:   “I absolutely understand.  It proves. . . that this sport is all mental in the end.  You can work as hard as you can and you can practice. . . but if you don’t have that self belief on the court. . .it can easily turn against you.  I felt it last year in this period for first five, six months.. .  I know how it feels like”.

While Djokovic was walking all over Istomin, Juan Martin Del Potro was having a bear of a time with second round opponent, Philipp Kohlschreiber.  Ultimately, Del Potro battled past Kohlschreiber 6-7,6-4,7-5 to move on.

After going up an early break in the first set, Del Potro was broken twice.  In fact, Kohlschreiber served for the first set at 6-5.  Although Del Potro forced the tiebreaker, Kohlschreiber dominated to pocket the first set.

In the second set, Del Potro again got an early lead only to find himself later all squared. Del Potro won the set to force the decider.  In the final set, Kohlschreiber put up a spirited fight, but a determined Del Potro withstood the German to advance.

John Isner also needed three sets to book his place into the third round.  Isner got by Igor Andreev 6-4,5-7,7-6.

Earlier in the day, ninth seed Fernando Verdasco was upended by Pablo Andujar.  On the other hand, Richard Gasquet, Michael Llodra, Sam Querrey and David Ferrer made short work of their rivals.

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