Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Laurence Reese

Federer advances as Djokovic crashes out

Federer advances as Djokovic crashes out

Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco used his powerful serve to upset third seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (4) 4-6 6-3 at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday while Roger Federer's tournament debut was hampered by rain.

"But, you know, after an opponent like this, to come back from two breaks down, actually, for me it was nearly impossible".

Rain barred Federer from completing the first match of his title defence at the season's opening ATP Masters 1000 tournament on Saturday.

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".

After the world number one stormed to the first set over the weekend, rain interrupted play, forcing a delay overnight.

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Federer is making his 17th appearance in the California desert and is assured of remaining world No 1 if he makes it to the semi-finals. Federer, who earned his fifth title at Indian Wells previous year, saved a set point in the second-set tiebreaker and advanced to face Filip Krajinovic on Monday.

Novak Djokovic produced a puzzling performance as the former world No 1 lost to Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel in the second round at the Indian Wells Masters on Sunday.

Djokovic took six months off after Wimbledon a year ago and returned at January's Australian Open, where he lost in the fourth round. The 30-year-old committed 61 unforced errors in the two-and-a-half hour match.

Djokovic came from a set down to level the match against the World 109 but then fell apart in the final set, as Daniel triumphed 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-1. "Very weird", he said of the loss to Daniel.

Argentina's del Potro, who is fresh off winning the Mexican Open title in Acapulco, hammered five aces and broke de Minaur's serve five times.

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He added: "I won't play in Monaco, since I have the foundation trip [to Africa] at the same time, but after Miami I will decide if and when I'll play on clay".

The five-time Indian Wells champion regained his composure and the momentum by breaking for a 4-3 lead in the second, only to again struggle to get the job done. Djokovic even admitted that he lacked rhythm in the game.

Amid a conversation with the umpire and Delbonis on court, Federer could be heard telling his Argentine opponent: "I can start but if you don't wanna start we don't have to". "And I just have to work really hard and keep that motivation high to be able to win matches".

"Look, still such early stages for Novak coming back and the first one after surgery".

Sousa eventually prevailed 7-5 5-7 6-4 to set up a third round match against Milos Raonic. He's only going to get better from here.

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