Novak Djokovic fields questions from the media at a press conference during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 9, 2017 in Indian Wells, California. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP
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Djokovic's five titles in the California desert include the last three.But the Serbian star arrives at a tournament he has owned shaken by a second-round exit at the Australian Open, which was followed by a shocking quarterfinal loss to young Australian Nick Kyrgios in Acapulco.The setbacks come on the back of a troublesome second half of 2016, when he lost his world No. 1 ranking to Andy Murray and relinquished his Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles.Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil defeated Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-3 to earn a clash with Murray, while France's Jeremy Chardy beat Moldovan qualifier Radu Albot 7-6 (2), 6-2 to book a meeting with eighth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem.The 23-year-old Thiem, who won his eighth ATP title in Rio last month, is among the young players keen to muscle in on the game's "Big Four" of Murray, Djokovic, Nadal and Federer.Even after his 2016 Australian Open victory more than a year ago, Djokovic indicated he could feel them coming, telling reporters that wolves running up the hill are hungrier than the wolf at the top.
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