Djokovic victorious again; now 20-0 in 2011

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Djokovic victorious again; now 20-0 in 2011

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. - Novak Djokovic declared himself in the best form of his career after trouncing veteran James Blake 6-2, 6-0 on Sunday in the third round of the Sony Ericsson Open.

The No. 2-seeded Serb extended his winning streak to 22 consecutive matches. He has lost just three games in two matches at this tournament and his 20-0 start to 2011 is the best record to begin a year since Ivan Lendl started 25-0 in 1986.

“It has been a dream run for me the last couple of months,’’ Djokovic said. “I’m playing the best tennis of my life.’’

Another man eyeing a career high is Mardy Fish, who moved within two wins of becoming the United States’ top-ranked men’s player after beating Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-3. Fish is ranked a career-best 15th and is poised to overtake longtime friend Andy Roddick in the next rankings. Roddick lost his opening match Saturday and is expected to drop from eighth to about 15th, the lowest he will have been ranked since 2002.

Fish’s next opponent will be Juan Martin del Potro, who is gaining momentum in his comeback from wrist surgery last May. The big Argentine earned his first win this year over a top-10 player by beating No. 4 Robin Soderling 6-3, 6-2.

“It’s a long road to come back to being at the top again,’’ the 2009 U.S. Open champion said. “I’m improving very, very slowly.’’

In women’s play, No. 2-seeded Kim Clijsters earned her 500th career victory by beating Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

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