Li Na in last eight; Jankovic ends her five-match losing streak to Wozniacki

Normal service resumed at the ATP Masters and WTA BNP Paribas Open here on Tuesday when Novak Djokovic safely booked his place in the fourth round of the men’s draw and Li Na moved into the women’s quarterfinals.

Djokovic had a little hiccup when he dropped the second set of his match with Colombia’s Alejandro Gonzalez but was otherwise untroubled in winning 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.

Djokovic survived to fight another day in the Californian desert after the shock losses of world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova on Monday.

20th win

Djokovic’s next opponent is the big-serving Croatian Marin Cilic, who recorded his 20th win this season with a 6-4, 6-3 over Spain’s Tommy Robredo.

Li, promoted to the women’s top seed after winning the Australian Open and in the absence of Serena Williams, beat Canada’s Aleksandra Wozniak 6-1, 6-4 but only after an extraordinary final game where she struggled to close out the match.

Li Na raced through the opening set in just over half an hour then recovered from 3-0 down to serve for the match at 5-4 when she suddenly got the wobbles.

The final game lasted 20 minutes as Li squandered 10 match points and took her tally of double-faults for the match to nine before she finally sealed the win.

While Robredo lost to the towering Cilic, three of his compatriots all advanced with Fernando Verdasco upsetting world No. 9 Richard Gasquet of France 7-6(5), 6-1 to leave Djokovic as the only top-10 player left in the bottom half of the men’s draw.

Roberto Bautista Agut held his nerve to beat Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(6) to move on before Feliciano Lopez joined the Spanish Armada with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 defeat of Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.

In the women’s draw, Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic ended her five-match losing streak to Denmark’s Carolina Wozniacki when she reeled off 10 consecutive games to win 6-3, 6-1 and advance to the quarterfinals.

Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, the second seed, breezed past Alize Cornet of France 7-5, 6-3 while Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova brushed aside the challenge of Petra Kvitova, beating the Czech 6-3, 6-2.

Pennetta beats Giorgi

Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi came back to earth with a thud when she was thrashed 6-2, 6-1 by compatriot Flavia Pennetta less than 24 hours after she stunned Sharapova.

Romania’s Simona Halep qualified for the last eight with a hard-fought 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 win over Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard after trailing 4-3 in the deciding set.

The results:

Men: Third round: Fernando Verdasco bt Richard Gasquet 7-6(5), 6-1; John Isner bt Lu Yen-Hsun 6-4, 6-3; Ernests Gulbis bt Grigor Dimitrov 2-6, 6-1, 7-5; Roberto Bautista Agut bt Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(6); Feliciano Lopez bt Mikhail Kukushkin 1-6, 6-3, 6-4; Julien Benneteau bt Dominic Thiem 7-6(4), 6-3; Marin Cilic bt Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6-3; Novak Djokovic bt Alejandro Gonzalez 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.

Women: Fourth round: Li Na bt Aleksandra Wozniak 6-1, 6-4; Dominika Cibulkova bt Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-2; Flavia Pennetta bt Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-1; Sloane Stephens bt Alisa Kleybanova 6-3, 7-5; Simona Halep bt Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 1-6, 6-4; Casey Dellacqua bt Lauren Davis w/o; Jelena Jankovic bt Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1; Agnieszka Radwanska bt Alize Cornet 7-5, 6-3.

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