Indian Wells, California:Novak Djokovic staved off triple match point in the third set to beat Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (3) on Monday in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.
Djokovic, the 2008 champion, trailed love-40 on his serve in the 10th game of the third set, but got back into the match mostly on Kohlschreiber's mistakes. The Serb's forehand volley winner saved the first match point, then Kohlschreiber missed consecutive backhands for deuce.
"When I needed to, I did the work, served well and made some good approaches from the forehand side," Djokovic said. "He could easily be the winner of this match and he would deserve it."
Kim Clijsters gave up seven straight points to lose 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4) to Alisa Kleybanova of Russia in a women's night match. She joined top-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, No. 3 Victoria Azarenka and No. 10 Maria Sharapova on the sidelines before the fourth round.
Clijsters had won 15 straight matches at Indian Wells, including titles in 2003 and '05, the last time she played here. But the Belgian, who came out of retirement last year only a few tournaments before winning the U.S. Open, came unstuck after leading 4-0 in the tiebreak.
Defending champion and third-ranked Rafael Nadal needed just over an hour to put away Mario Ancic of Croatia, 6-2, 6-2.
Nadal lost just one first-serve point and never faced a break point in beating Ancic for the fourth time in five meetings. The Spaniard kept the rallies brief, with many not lasting more than five strokes.
"The serve was important, but more important was my rhythm from the baseline," he said. "I lost only a few points because I didn't have mistakes, only seven unforced errors in two sets and 29 winners, that's very good statistics."
Nadal wore a pair of brown-and-white shorts with a lattice-type pattern and a white shirt with pink highlights.
"It's more different than usual. That's the thing, no?" he said about his shorts. "It was a little bit fashion for me. Is too much, a little bit for me, but going to be for this tournament."
Djokovic was still delighted about his meeting last week with Pete Sampras, the 14-time Grand Slam champion whom he called his "lifetime idol."
"He's the one that gave me a lot of motivation to became a professional player because I didn't have anyone playing tennis in my family. I had to do it myself," Djokovic said.
The 22-year-old went into the meeting believing it was no big deal
"But it was incredible," he said. "He tells you, `You win with your mind and your heart.' He promised to hit with me."
In other men's matches, No. 21 Juan Monaco of Argentina beat No. 11 Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-3; and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain got by No. 26 Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.
In women's results, sixth-seeded Jelena Jankovic needed nearly three hours to get by Sara Errani of Italy, 2-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4; defending champion Vera Zvonareva advanced 6-2, 6-3 over over Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia; 17th-seeded Shahar Peer of Israel beat ninth-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1; and Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain defeated No. 27 Agnes Szavay of Hungary 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.