INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA – Kei Nishikori defeated Philipp Petzschner of Germany in straight sets in his first match of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.
The 16th seed, who had a bye in the first round, beat Petzschner 6-3, 6-2 to set up a meeting with world No. 85 Carlos Berlocq of Argentina, a 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 winner over Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov, in the third round.
“This is an important tournament to help me reach the top 10,” said the 16th-ranked Nishikori, who showed no ill effects from a nagging left oblique injury as he broke Petzschner in the first game of the first set.
Elsewhere, Novak Djokovic extended his winning streak to 19 matches with a 6-0, 5-7, 6-2 victory over Fabio Fognini in the second round.
U.S. Open champion Andy Murray earlier had a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 win over Evgeny Donskoy of Russia.
The third-seeded Murray had lost his opening match at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in each of the past two years.
“I have not played a match for five weeks (since losing the Australian Open final to Djokovic on Jan. 27) so you can’t expect to play your best tennis straightaway,” Murray said.