Seeds Djokovic, Murray and Nishikori all advance

Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:06am EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

INDIAN WELLS, California (Reuters) - Australian Open champion and top seed Novak Djokovic launched his BNP Paribas Open title defense in ruthless style on Saturday, crushing Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 6-1 6-3 in the second round.

Playing near-flawless tennis from the baseline, the Serb broke his opponent twice in each set to coast to victory in just under an hour on the showpiece stadium court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Fourth seed Andy Murray erased memories of early losses at the venue with a 6-1 6-3 demolition of Canadian Vasek Pospisil and Japanese trailblazer Kei Nishikori recovered from an erratic start to beat American Ryan Harrison 6-4 6-4.

Djokovic, seeking a fourth title at Indian Wells, breezed through the opening set in just 25 minutes before sealing the win when Baghdatis hit a backhand long on the second match point.

"It went very well for me, a very solid performance from the beginning," the world number one said courtside after improving his record this season to 15-2.

"I served well and from the baseline I didn't give Marcos many chances to come back in the match. Great performance against a quality opponent, against somebody that was a former top-10 player and that knows how to play on a big stage.

"Of course, having won the title in Australia, it allows me to have and carry this confidence into every other event that is coming up in the season."

Murray broke Pospisil's serve three times in the opening set and twice in the second to ease to victory in 79 minutes on a sweltering afternoon.   Continued...

Mar 14, 2015; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Novak Djokovic (SRB) during his second round match against Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Djokovic won 6-1, 6-3.  Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports