March 24, 2018

Djokovic suffers 'weird' loss at Indian Wells as he returns from surgery

14 March 2018, 06:16 | Frank Carlson

Roger Federer opens Indian Wells title defence with a two-day win

Roger Federer: 'Novak Djokovic is only going to get better'

A scrappy match ensued before the world No. 109 pulled out the win in three sets, 7-6, 4-6, 6-1.

Djokovic, who won the Indian Wells event in 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016, was knocked out early for the second year in a row.

Mar 11, 2018; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Taro Daniel (JPN) during his second round match against Novak Djokovic (not pictured) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The Swiss star finished a second-round match that was suspended due to rain Saturday night, completing a 6-3, 7-6 (6) victory over Argentina's Federico Delbonis.

While Federer was far from flawless, he did improve to an unblemished 13-0 on the year and took the next step in snaring his third title of the young season.

Is there really any reason to believe that Roger Federer won't be the last man standing when the championship trophies are handed out Sunday at Indian Wells?

Federer stressed it was always going to be hard for the six-time Australian victor to impress on his return from injury, which is why the 36-year-old was not surprised following Djokovic's struggle in Indian Wells. "I made so many unforced errors that it was just one of those exdays where you are not able to find the rhythm from the baseline especially from the backhand side". Just struggled also a little bit with (my) health the last couple of weeks. "Very weird", he said of the loss to Daniel.

Djokovic had four aces but overall he served poorly making four double faults and winning just 65 percent of his first-serve points.

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Edmund, who has been out of action with a hip injury since his brilliant performance in Melbourne, led 3-1 in the opening set and had two break points to go further ahead.

"It feels insane. I mean, I'm still in shock", Anisimova said.

"Just the feeling of getting back to the world No. 1 ranking is deeply gratifying".

Also, American Taylor Fritz defeated Fernando Verdasco of Spain, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7/1), Croatia's Borna Coric breezed past Roberto Bautista 6-1, 6-3 and Pablo Carreno-Busta of Spain, stopped Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-1, 7-5.

"When you do come back from injury or when you haven't played in a long time, it just takes extra effort".

In other men's matches, David Ferrer of Spain defeated Tennys Sandgren of the U.S. 6-2, 7-6 (7/3).

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