• Djokovic, Tsonga kick off BNP Paribas Open campaigns

    3/9/13 8:45 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Djokovic, Tsonga kick off BNP Paribas Open campaigns Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will contest their opening matches at the 2013 Indian Wells event on Sunday. They are set for respective meetings with Fabio Fognini and James Blake.

    (1) Novak Djokovic vs. Fabio Fognini

    Djokovic and Fognini will be going head-to-head for the fourth time in their careers when they clash in round two of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday. Not surprisingly, Djokovic has won all three of their previous meetings--but just one on a hard court (6-3, 6-1 at the 2009 Shanghai Masters). They most recently faced each other in the first round of last summer's London Olympics, where Djokovic survived 6-7(7), 6-2, 6-2.

    The top-ranked Serb has not lost a match since a disinterested performance at last fall's Paris Masters, a stretch of 18 consecutive wins. He triumphed at the World Tour Finals, the Australian Open, and just recently in Dubai. Fogini, who was also supposed to play Djokovic in the quarters of the 2011 French Open but withdrew, is a decent 8-6 this season. The 36th-ranked Italian took care of Aljaz Bedene 6-4, 6-3 on Friday. Djokovic in straight sets is the obvious choice.

    (WC) James Blake vs. (8) Jo-WIlfried Tsonga

    Blake and Tsonga will be meeting for the third time in their careers on Sunday in Indian Wells. Tsonga won both of their previous encounters on hard courts; 6-4, 6-3 at the 2008 Paris Masters and 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(3) in the fourth round of the 2009 Australian Open. The Frenchman is a huge favorite once again and he is playing well at the moment. Tsonga is coming off a first-round loss in Dubai to Michael Llodra, but that was mainly due to fatigue from a title in Marseille.

    Blake is looking to take further advantage of the wild card that granted him entry into the main draw this week. The 33-year-old American opened on Friday with a routine straight-set victory over Robin Haase. Blake is an even 2-2 at the ATP level this season and he also reached the semifinals of the Dallas Challenger. Count on Tsonga taking care of business in straight sets.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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