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Novak Djokovic challenged in Indian Wells return, Cameron Norrie marches on

World number one Novak Djokovic was forced to to dig deep in his match with Aleksandar Vukic, ultimately prevailing 6-2 5-7 6-3.

After Djokovic wrapped up the first set in just 34 minutes, Vukic powered his way back into the match in the second, using his brutal forehand to even the score at one set-a-piece.

However, the veteran Djokovic resettled in the third, picking up the decisive break in the fifth game of the third set before clinching the result in two hours and ten minutes.

"Five years is a very long time for a tennis player," said the Serb, who last played in the event in 2019.

"It's amazing to be a part of this tournament as a player. There's a great community, culture and love for the sport, and for tennis – you can feel it." 

Djokovic will face Italy's Luca Nardi, the 20-year-old World No. 123, in the third round Monday. 

Playing for the first time since his loss in the 2024 Australian Open semifinals to Jannik Sinner, Djokovic recorded his 400th Masters 1000 win, and improved to 51-9 lifetime at Indian Wells with his triumph. 

Meanwhile, Cameron Norrie is eyeing another deep run after advancing to the third round. The British number one was the 2021 champion and came through against Lorenzo Sonego 6-3 6-4.

It was a clinical performance by Norrie, who won the important moments as he hit fewer winners than his Italian opponent and the same amount of unforced errors.

He took early control, breaking in the fourth game and, then after saving break points, he served out the first set.

Sonego took a 2-0 lead early in the second, but Norrie wrestled back control, with five successive games putting him on the brink of victory.

The Italian rallied, though, claiming one break back when Norrie was serving for the match, but the Briton got the job done at the second attempt.

"Fortunate to be through, I don't think he played as well as he could but I'll take it," Norrie said on his on-court interview.

"I got sick in Rio so I have not been able to practise so much, so that's why it was nice just to be out there playing. You take it for granted sometimes.

"It's good memories coming here and the courts I really like, the tournament always starts again, I know I like to play well here."

He will play either eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz or Gael Monfils in the next round.

 

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