Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Federer wins rain-delayed match, Djokovic ousted in Indian Wells

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Shannon Reynolds | 14 March, 2018, 02:07

Djokovic was makings his first appearance since being stunned by Hyeon Chung at the Australian Open.

Roger Federer was not surprised that Novak Djokovic struggled on his return from injury at the Indian Wells Masters, but backed his rival to quickly improve.

Djokovic took six months off after Wimbledon previous year and returned in January's Australian Open where he lost in the fourth round.

"It felt like the first match I have ever played on the tour, very weird", Djokovic told reporters.

Israeli Dudi Sela beat British 21st-seeded Briton Kyle Edmund 6-4 6-4 while Luxemburg's 24th seed Giles Muller was upset by Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3 7-5.

"But, you know, after an opponent like this, to come back from two breaks down, actually, for me it was nearly impossible". Striking his groundstrokes with conviction and refusing to concede the momentum shift, the Japanese would benefit from 22 unforced errors by Djokovic to snatch the opener in a tie-break.

For now, Del Potro - given his strong start to 2018 - would appear to be Roger Federer's major rival in Indian Wells.

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Daniel, ranked 109 in the world, claimed the biggest win of his career as he prevailed 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-1.

But after his second-round match against Federico Delbonis which started at 8 p.m. Saturday night was halted due to rain with Federer up 6-3, 2-2, the match resumed Sunday and ended at about 4 p.m. with Federer winning 6-3, 7-6.

Daniel, meanwhile, will face the victor of the match between the Belgian Ruben Bemelmans and the Argentine Leonardo Mayer in the third round. "I mean, I just completely lost rhythm, everything. He's only going to get better from here".

"It gave me a ton of inspiration for my upcoming matches", he said.

The Serb failed to serve out the first set, growing the internal seed of doubt and emboldening Daniel, who at last year's US Open took a set from eventual champion Rafael Daniel.

World No.3 Marin Cilic of Croatia on Sunday defeated Hungary's Marton Fucsovics 7-5, 6-3 to set up a third-round clash with Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber, who beat Tim Smyczek of the United States 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Delbonis actually had a set point during the tiebreaker in the second set, but Federer thwarted off the threat and went on to win.

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