Djokovic, Murray, Azarenka, Sharapova set to play today in BNP Paribas Open

POSTED: 09:09 AM PDT Mar 12, 2013 
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -

A star-studded day is expected at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden with Novak Djokovic today, the world's top-ranked men's tennis player, and third-ranked Andy Murray scheduled to play.

Also on tap are the two top-seeded women's players, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova.

With the men completing their third round of singles play, Djokovic will face 31st-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the third match on the Indian Wells Tennis Garden's main court.

Djokovic has won 14 consecutive matches this year and 19th in a row dating back to 2012. The 21-year-old Dimitrov is the youngest player among the remaining 24 players in the men's singles draw. He is 1-16 in his career against Top 10 players.

Murray will face the unseeded Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan in the first match of the night session, which will not begin until at least 7 p.m. at the earliest. Lu defeated Murray in the first round of the 2008 Olympics in their only other meeting.

Both of the last two American singles players remaining in the tournament are both scheduled to play today. Mardy Fish, who is seeded 32nd, will play eighth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in the day's first match on the stadium court. Fish has lost to Tsonga all three times they have played.

Sam Querrey, who is seeded 23rd, will face unseeded Australian Marinko Matosevic in the second match on the stadium's No. 2 court.

The start of the women's round of 16 includes Azarenka facing the unseeded Urszula Radwanska in the fourth match on the Indian Wells Tennis Garden's main court, which won't start before 4:30 p.m., and Sharapova meeting the unseeded Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino in the second match on the main court, which won't start before 1 p.m.

On Monday, Roger Federer defeated Ivan Dodig, 6-3, 6-1, while fifth-ranked Rafael Nadal was a winner by walkover when Leonardo Mayer withdrew because of a back injury in men's third-round singles play.

Federer said he had a "tough day" in the 61-minute match, but "it was a really good win for me."

"Ivan played really well and I struggled early on in the first few games," said Federer, the defending champion who is seeded second and second in the Association of Tennis Professionals rankings.

"Then I got a bit of a break at the end of the first set, started to play better. In the last couple of games Ivan didn't play so well and I was able to take advantage of it."

Each of the top six seeded players playing Monday won. The others were sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych, 10th-seeded Richard Gasquet, 13th-seeded Gilles Simon and 18th-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka.

Qualifier Ernests Gulbis of Latvia continued his winning ways, defeating 20th-seeded Andreas Seppi, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, for his 13th victory in 17 days.

"I should have won easier," Gulbis said after his fourth consecutive victory over Seppi. "I played better than him the first set. I played better than him the whole match, I think."

Kevin Anderson eliminated Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 6-1, two days after upsetting the world's fourth-ranked player, David Ferrer.

Azarenka defeated 28th-seeded Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0, in a night match.

"She really played well," Azarenka said. "I have to give her credit. She came out firing, playing so freely and going for every possible shot there was. So I just didn't adjust well. I didn't take my chances, and I was too blurry in what I had to do.

"I'm really happy that I find the ability to turn around my matches no matter what the circumstances are on the court. So that's definitely what is exciting me the most."

Each of the next four top-seeded players in action also won -- fourth-seeded Angelique Kerber, seventh-seeded Samantha Stosur, eight-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, and 10th-seeded Nadia Petrova.

Ana Ivanovic, who was seeded 11th, was upset by 24th-seeded Mona Barthel, 6-1, 3-6, 6-0.