Djokovic scrapes through
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:20
The Serbian seemed set for a simple victory when he claimed the first set but Hernych fought back to claim the second.
The Czech then broke to go 2-1 up in the third but Djokovic rallied to claim a 6-3 3-6 6-4 victory.
Second seed Andy Murray booked a rematch with Richard Gasquet after easing to a first victory over Arnaud Clement.
The British number one proved too strong for experienced Frenchman Clement, wrapping up a 6-2 6-3 win in less than 90 minutes, with his serve particularly effective.
Gasquet was a 6-7 (4/7) 6-3 7-6 (7/5) winner over Italy’s Simone Bolelli.
Another Frenchman, third seed Gilles Simon, was particularly impressive as he dismantled Teimuraz Gabashvili of Russia 6-2 6-1. Simon did not concede a single break point and won 80% of his first-serve points.
Fourth seed David Ferrer of Spain was also a straight-sets winner – 6-4 6-2 over Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Marin Cilic – who next faces Djokovic – squashed a comeback from Julien Benneteau to emerge a 6-3 4-6 7-5 winner, while Igor Andreev was forced to rally to beat fellow Russian Dmitry Tursunov 5-7 6-4 6-3.
Fabrice Santoro beat Marco Chiudinelli 3-6 6-1 7-6 (7/1) to set up a clash with compatriot Simon. In the doubles, Andy Ram’s controversial stay in Dubai was ended at the first opportunity as he and partner Kevin Ullyett lost 6-3 3-6 10-8 to Marat Safin and Ferrer.