Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Federer wins, 'weird' loss for Djokovic

Federer wins, 'weird' loss for Djokovic

World number one and defending champion Roger Federer's Indian Wells opener was marred by rain as the wet weather forced his contest with Federico Delbonis to be rescheduled.

On his highly-anticipated return to the tour after right elbow surgery, Djokovic looked a shadow of his former self.

Verdasco's first serve proved almost unplayable in the deciding set of the second round match as he improved his career head-to-head record against Dimitrov to 2-2.

Djokovic scrambled to win the second set on Sunday but the rust from the layoff was evident as he made 62 unforced errors overall.

The 34-old, who has seven career titles, pounded down 12 aces, including six in the deciding set.

South African seventh seed Kevin Anderson also prevailed in his second round match, 7-5 6-4 over Russian Evgeny Donskoy.

It was another snag in the return for the 30-year-old Djokovic who admitted he was out of sorts while playing in just his second event of 2018. Mayer was supposed to play Kei Nishikori in his second-round match, but the former US Open finalist withdrew from the tournament due to illness.


After losing to Hyeon Chung in the fourth round of the Australian Open, Djokovic took some time to get himself healthy. Honestly making - I think, if I'm not wrong, in two games two double faults on each one, and giving him the possibility to go 3-0 in the score with two breaks.

Federer will face Serbia's Filip Krajinovic, a finalist at the Paris Masters in 2017, in the third round.

Speaking to the media after the match, Djokovic said, "It felt like my first match on tour". It is still early stages for Novak coming back and the first one after surgery. "When you go away from the game for over a two-month period, it starts feeling a little bit that way", the Express quoted Federer as saying. "He's only going to get better from here".

Frenchman Gael Monfils survived a match point before beating big-serving American 15th seed John Isner 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-3) 7-5.

"But it's not easy to deal with this kind of frustrations after injuries or when you always be the favorite to win a tournament, you come here and you lose in first round".

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

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