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


The tennis world will tonight witness the return of former world number one Novak Djokovic to competitive action as he begins his quest for an unprecedented sixth BNP Paribas Open title next week in Indian Wells, California.

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 shut down his season after Wimbledon in 2017 and despite not being at his best, chose to play at this year's Australian Open where he was ousted by South Korea's Hyeon Chung in the fourth round.

Djokovic's performance in the final set against the world's 109th-ranked player on centre court raised some eyebrows, with four-times grand slam champion Jim Courier saying the Serb had "capitulated".

Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro (6) defeated Australia's Alex De Minaur 6-2, 6-1 to set up a third-round match with Spain's David Ferrer (29), who beat American Tim Smyczek 6-2, 7-6 (3).

Storm 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 heavy rains came in the second.

"I like both but I think Nadal is more like my gamestyle", Thiem told ESPN.

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

Djokovic - who benefited from a bye in the first round - relinquished a 5-2 lead in the first set and wound up committing 61 unforced errors.

Federer hit five aces and won 74 percent of his first serve points in the match which took a total of one hour and 41 minutes over the two days.

"To me, it's not that surprising", Federer said.

Federer will now face 25th seed Filip Krajinovic in the third round.

"It felt like first match I ever played on the tour".

"I mean, I just completely lost rhythm, everything", he said. "He's only going to get better from here". He surpassed Argentine Federico Delbonis after rain forced the Swiss tennis star a victory to wait until next morning on Sunday to clinch his first win of the tournament.

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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