Sports

Nishikori advances to 3rd round at Indian Wells; Sharapova, Djokovic in action

  • Kei Nishikori, of Japan, returns to Ryan Harrison during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Saturday, March 14, 2015, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Kei Nishikori, of Japan, returns to Ryan Harrison during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Saturday, March 14, 2015, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ryan Harrison reacts after losing a point to Kei Nishikori, of Japan, during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Saturday, March 14, 2015, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Ryan Harrison reacts after losing a point to Kei Nishikori, of Japan, during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Saturday, March 14, 2015, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)  (The Associated Press)

  • Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, returns to Ons Jabeur, of Tunisia, during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Saturday, March 14, 2015, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, returns to Ons Jabeur, of Tunisia, during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Saturday, March 14, 2015, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)  (The Associated Press)

Kei Nishikori beat American Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-4 in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday, while defending women's champion Flavia Pennetta easily advanced.

Playing in 91-degree heat, Nishikori dispatched Harrison in 1 1/2 hours despite struggling with his first serve. The fifth-ranked Japanese player reached the third round at Indian Wells for the first time in eight tries.

Nishikori arrived in the desert on a roll, having reached the quarterfinals or better at each of his four previous tournaments this year. He won the title in Memphis.

Harrison fell to 1-24 against top-10 players in his career.

Pennetta beat American Madison Brengle 6-4, 6-2 as the Italian opened defense of the biggest title of her career.

Two-time winner Maria Sharapova was to play later, while defending men's champion Novak Djokovic competes in an evening match.