ibusinesslines.com March 18, 2018

Djokovic loses in Indian Wells to Taro Daniel

12 March 2018, 04:40 | Myron Mathis

GETTYFederico Delbonis beat Roger Federer in their only previous meeting

Federico Delbonis

The clouds rolled in just before the start of their match on Saturday and after a short delay to start the first set they managed to play until the skies blackened and the heavy rains came in the second. After another 90-minute delay organizers suspended play for the night.

Gael Monfils beat the 15th seed John Isner 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 7-5; Pierre-Hugues Herbert beat the 24th seed Gilles Muller 6-3, 7-5 and Dudi Sela prevailed over the 21st seed Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-4.

Federer needs to make the semi-finals to retain his number one ranking.

Former world number one Djokovic was playing his first match since the Australian Open due to an elbow problem that required surgery.

The only thing rarer than a raindrop in the Southern California desert might be a Roger Federer early-round loss, and thankfully for fans, the weekend brought only one of those anomalies.

"Not really", Federer said during his opening news conference here Thursday.

When play finally started, Federer set out to avenge his defeat to Delbonis in 2013 - the pair's only other ATP meeting.

Federer staved off a set point in the second set tie-break to beat Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (8-6) and he will face 25th-seed Filip Krajinovic in the third round on Monday. He and 10th seed Djokovic both came into the tournament seeking to become the first six-time victor of the event.

Novak Djokovic's return from an elbow surgery did not live to see more than a day as the former World No. 1 fell 6-7 (3), 6-4, 1-6 to the 109th ranked Taro Daniel of Japan.

The Spaniard once ranked No. 7 in the world is now ranked No. 39 said: "Well, I think that the match kind of, like, went up-and-downs a little bit, at least the two first sets with a break that he made me at the beginning". "I'd like to congratulate my opponent for fighting and showing great, great spirit on the court", said Djokovic.

"I just completely lost rhythm, everything, struggled a little bit with the health the last couple of weeks". He returned for the Australian Open with a revamped, abbreviated service motion created to relieve pressure on the elbow and showed flashes of fine form before eventually losing in straight sets to Hyeon Chung in the fourth round. He advanced after two hours and 30 minutes, firing 20 winners while benefitting from an uncharacteristic 61 unforced errors from Djokovic. But at the same time, I just didn't feel good at all.

Novak Djokovic during his second round match against Taro Daniel. "So I was able to take advantage of it". The first break of serve came in game five after a forced error from Roger but he pulled it back in the very next game when he stole Canas's serve at love to level the score at 3-3. Because if I change and I start to put, like, kind of like first, second serves in to try to play with first serve, but then also doesn't hurting him so much, maybe, you know, he was returning so much, like, on top of the line, if he connect two or three good returns, it was going to be tough.

Thiem has already won a tour-leading 17 matches this season, but he had to work hard to beat 19-year-old Tsitsipas, who reached the quarter-finals in Dubai last week and is ranked 71st in the world.

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