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Thursday 21
March

Tennis

Sampras inspires Novak win

10th March 2019, 11:52 by Jack Ogalbe

World number one Novak Djokovic had some special inspiration as he booked his place in the third round of Indian Wells.

The Serb, who is aiming for his sixth career victory in the Californian desert, was playing in his first match since winning January's Australian Open and showed plenty of grit to battle past Bjorn Fratangelo 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Amongst the spectators was 14-time Grand Slam winner Pete Sampras and Djokovic admitted that the nerves kicked in when he spotted the American due to his desire to impress one of his idols.

"It's a thrill to see someone I looked up to when I was a kid," said 31-year-old Djokovic.

"I was pleasantly surprised but felt my nerves kick in. I don't get to see him very often and wanted to impress him."

Djokovic will now play Philipp Kohlschreiber following the German's 6-4 6-4 win over Nick Kyrgios while Alexander Zverev is also through after a 6-3 2-0 win over Martin Klizan, who retired through an ankle injury.

However, 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas is out after going down to another impressive youngster in 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Jack Ogalbe has been working for the team since his student days, having enjoyed a successful placement. He is an avid West Ham fan but also enjoys writing on rugby union, golf, tennis and cycling.

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