Posted March 12, 2013 on AP on Fox
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic defeated Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (4), 6-1 to reach the fourth round at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday with his 20th consecutive victory. Djokovic trailed 5-3 in the first set when the 21-year-old Bulgarian committed six double-faults, including four in one game, to help the Serb force the tiebreaker. Djokovic won it on a backhand error by the youngest player remaining in the draw. Djokovic moves on to play Sam Querrey, a 7-6 (5), 6-7 (7), 7-5 winner over Marinko Matosevic. Djokovic hasn't lost since Oct. 31, when Querrey beat him at the Paris Masters. Querrey is poised to take over as the top-ranked American in the men's game - albeit not in the top 10 - from Mardy Fish, who lost 7-6 (4), 7-6 (0) to No. 8 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. ''I really felt the match could have been a completely different scoreline pretty easily,'' Fish said. ''That's why you're a little disappointed.'' Tsonga has beaten Fish all four times they have played. The Frenchman next plays 17th-seeded Milos Raonic, who outlasted Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. Fish lost in the third round for the second straight year. He is playing his first tournament since last September after being sidelined with a heart condition, although he hasn't disclosed the exact nature of the problems. ''I certainly missed playing tennis for a living. I certainly missed making money, got bills to pay,'' he said. ''It's a tough thing because the last time that I was on the tennis court was some of the worst times I have ever had. That part is very hard to deal with. It's not easy to come back from that. This week is a good step in the right direction.'' On the women's side, Maria Sharapova recovered from an early break to advance to the quarterfinals with a 7-5, 6-0 win over Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino of Spain. Fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova beat No. 19 seed Klara Zakopalova 6-2, 6-3, and sixth-seeded Sara Errani defeated No. 9 Marion Bartoli 6-3, 6-2.
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