INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Facing an opponent he had never seen play, Novak Djokovic relied on some old-fashioned word of mouth.
Asking around the locker room and getting some intel from his coach, Djokovic went out and beat Alejandro Gonzalez 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 on Tuesday, ending the Colombian's surprising run to the third round at the BNP Paribas Open.
"It took me a little bit to get used to it," Djokovic said. "You've got new faces and new players who are able to challenge the top guys, and this is good for the sport. It also makes us work harder and improve trying to get our game to a high level because the guys are coming up."
Djokovic, a two-time champion at Indian Wells, earned the only two breaks of the third set, including a seven-deuce game that he closed out with a clever backhand drop volley.
John Isner, the lone American remaining in the men's draw, defeated Lu Yen-hsun of Taiwan 6-4, 6-3 to reach the fourth round. Isner fired 13 aces, hit 32 winners and gained a break in each set. Lu managed just nine winners and never held a break point against Isner.
"I'm feeling pretty confident out there. I'm moving pretty well for me, which helps," Isner said. "Moving freely and not thinking too much. Everything feels good. Have a clear mind out there."
Top-seeded Li Na defeated Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada 6-1, 6-4, setting up a quarterfinal against Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia that will be a rematch of the Australian Open final, which Li won in straight sets.
Li rallied from an 0-3 deficit in the second set, winning six of the final seven games. The last game went to deuce 10 times before Li won on her 11th match point when Wozniak's backhand sailed long.
"I can only say, 'Welcome to the crazy women's tennis tour,'" Li said about the last game.
Gonzalez had never won an ATP Tour match in six tries before Indian Wells. He won third-set tiebreakers in his first two matches here before keeping the world's second-ranked man on the court for just over 1½ hours.
"I just had a big loss of concentration and allowed him to win the second set for no reason," Djokovic said. "Bounced back better in the third, but I obviously cannot allow myself to have these particular concentration lapses in the match at this level."
Djokovic had 28 winners to 11 for Gonzalez, who also had 23 unforced errors in his first Masters 1000 event.
Djokovic next plays 24th-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia, who beat 16th-seeded Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6-3. The Serb is the highest remaining seed left after top-seeded Rafael Nadal was upset by Alexandr Dolgopolov a day earlier.