Nishikori wins Indian Wells opener

Kyodo, AP

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.