Djokovic crushes Gulbis, Jankovic out

Two-time major winner Novak Djokovic finished off his demolition of Ernests Gulbis in Indian Wells with back-to-back aces to reach the fourth round on Tuesday.

Updated: March 16, 2011 09:56 IST
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California: Two-time major winner Novak Djokovic finished off his demolition of Ernests Gulbis in Indian Wells with back-to-back aces to reach the fourth round on Tuesday.

The reigning Australian Open champ needed just 54 minutes on centre court at the $9 million WTA and ATP Masters 1000 event to send the Latvian packing 6-0, 6-1 and extended his win streak this season to 14 matches.

The aces were an ideal exclamation point to a perfect season so far for Djokovic.

"I have been playing great tennis, best tennis of my life," he said.

Djokovic, who is looking to secure his second Indian Wells title, has been unstoppable this year and is 16-0 dating back to a pair of Davis Cup matches late last season.

"I cannot ask for a better start of the year," he said. "I mean, I'm just building up on that confidence and continuing to play well, and feeling up from that run that I have from Davis Cup final."

Djokovic fired four aces Tuesday as he broke Gulbis' serve five times.

"You try to take serious every opponent you have even though you are a favourite in the match," Djokovic said.

"I was just trying to keep the ball in the court, not doing too much, just returning a lot and making him play an extra shot and changing the pace."

He captured his second major title at the Australian Open in January and followed up with his 20th career ATP Tour title last month in Dubai.

The 22-year-old Djokovic has dropped just five games so far after opening with a 6-0, 6-4 against Andrey Golubev.

Djokovic moves on to face his Serbian countryman and doubles partner Victor Troicki who beat France's Michael Llodra 6-3, 6-3. Troicki and Djokovic will play each other Wednesday in singles then team up for their doubles match.

Defending woman's champion Jelena Jankovic was added to the growing list of top seed casualties, losing to Serbian countrywoman Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-2 in a fourth round match.

"I'm really happy," Ivanovic said. "I played some good tennis in the past few weeks. To play consistent on that level, I'm really pleased."

The sixth seeded Jankovic was attempting to become the first women since Martina Navratilova (1990 and 1991) to defend her title at Indian Wells.

"I just didn't move. I felt really stuck with my feet," Jankovic said. "I wasn't solid with my game. I made some selfish shots, especially in the first set."

"I just didn't really play my tennis, didn't really do what I was supposed to do.

"One of the worst tennis matches I've played in these last couple of tournaments in which I have made pretty good results."

Ivanovic added to the Serbian assault on Indian Wells Tuesday by hitting seven aces and saving six-of-seven break point chances to post her seventh win over Jankovic in 10 meetings.

Ivanovic, who won the title here in 2008, advances to the quarter-finals where she plays the winner of a match between Kim Clijsters of Belgium and France's Marion Bartoli.

In other early matches Tuesday, Czech Tomas Berdych beat Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 6-3, 6-2.

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  • Tennis
  • Ana Ivanovic
  • Ernests Gulbis
  • Michael Llodra
  • Novak Djokovic

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