Second seed Novak Djokovic won the 550th match of his career as the Serb advanced into the third round of the Indian Wells Masters on Sunday 7-6, 7-1, 6-2 over Victor Hanescu.
Djokovic ran off his seventh victory over his Romanian opponent without a loss as he aims to win his first title of the season after sweeping four in the closing months of 2013 on the ATP.
So far, the former number one has played in only two previous events this season, beaten in both by Swiss players Stanislas Wawrinka and Roger Federer.
Djokovic is making his ninth appearance in Indian Wells and stands 31-6, winning the title in 2008 and 2011. He has lost in his last two semi-finals.
Tomas Berdych became the most notable upset victim as the fourth seed lost to Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
The Czech, who a week ago played the Dubai final against Roger Federer and won three weeks ago in Rotterdam, confessed to a poor day at the office in nearly two and a half hours of struggle.
“Anything I touched today was basically bad and was wrong,” he said.
“It was definitely the worst match that I had this year. That’s it.
That’s another experience. It’s not only about winning - I need to learn from those mistakes that I did and just keep going.” The 28-year-old refused to make excuses: “Conditions were fine. It was just myself that was not the way I want to be on the court. I was late everywhere. I was not hitting the ball clearly. I cannot play tennis with those things that don’t work. All the weeks that my game was on top and I was winning, I was moving extremely well. I was missing a lot of that today.” Bautista Agut had beaten Berdych in January 2013 in Chennai, with the Czech getting it back in October in Bangkok. The win was his third out of nine against top-10 opponents.
French eight seed Richard Gasquet made an easy start when Teimuraz Gabashvili retired hurt trailing 6-3, 2-0. But ninth-seeded compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lost in an upset to countryman Julien Benneteau 6-4, 6-4.
John Isner, seeded 12th, scored a rare American win as he beat Russian veteran Nikolay Davydenko 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, firing 15 aces while never facing a break point.
Croatian Marin Cilic, winner of two indoor titles in three weeks, easily transferred his form outdoors, beating Italian Paolo Lorenzi 6-2, 6-2. Kazak Milhail Kukushkin crushed Vasek Pospisil 6-0, 6-2, with the Canadian apparently still troubled by a longstanding back injury.
Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-2 as the German played the event for the 11th time, with his best showing a fourth round place.
In women’s play, three seeds fell as Canadian Eugenie Bouchard beat number nine Italian Sara Errani 6-3, 6-3, and France’s Alize Cornet put out number 14 Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-7 (4-7), 7-5, 6-3.
The winner saved three match points in the second-longest WTA match of the season lasting three hours, 28 minutes. Australian Casey Dellacqua beat 13th seed Roberta Vinci 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Number two Agnieszka Radwanska crushed Germany’s Annika Beck 6-0, 6-0, 2013 finalist and 10th seed Caroline Wozniacki stopped Yaroslava Shvedova 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 6-1.
“It was a very tough match, playing her is always tricky, and especially here because the ball bounces so high,” said the winner.
“Her serves were bouncing way over my head, and I had a really tough time really getting into the rhythm at the start.
“I managed to fight through and win that first set, I guess just my running really got me through that. I started playing some pretty good tennis in the third set, but before then it was really just a battle and a scramble.”