Federer opens Indian Wells title defence with two-day win

15 March, 2018, 05:58 | Author: Anita Tucker
  • Roger Federer Rafael Nadal Indian Wells

On court, the troubles most definitely continue, and what was mystifying on Sunday was that he looked strong and precise in the early phases of his three-set loss to Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open.

World number one Roger Federer finished off Federico Delbonis in a rain-disrupted match on Sunday to reach the third round at Indian Wells as five-time champion Novak Djokovic was toppled.

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal Indian Wells
GETTYFederer beat Federico Delbonis in straight sets

Federer - the defending champion and a five-time victor of this event - required less than an hour on Stadium 1 to get the better of the Serbian world number 28.

American Amanda Anisimova took down two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-2, 6-4 in a match lasting just over an hour to become the first 16-year-old to move into the fourth round at Indian Wells since Viktoriya Kutuzova in 2005.

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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.

After that defeat, he chose to undergo a medical procedure on his elbow in Switzerland: one the 30-year-old Djokovic has yet to explain in detail. "Very weird. I completely lost rhythm", said the Serb. "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. "Just didn't feel good at all, nerves were there".

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In other action, Sam Querrey (18) went through after beating Mischa Zverev 6-4, 7-5, while Lucas Pouille of France (9) lost out to Yuki Bhambri of India 6-4, 6-4.

"To me, it's not that surprising", Federer said. "Back in the day, I used to play six matches in a row".

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"Yes, we've got lots of great players - look at (Rafael) Nadal with a record that says "I've just won 10 French Opens", and you can't sort of push that under the mat. He's only going to get better from here", he added. Even though I served my five aces yesterday, I hit none today. "Especially, you know, in a crowd like this, it's pretty fantastic to do it, and I'm pretty happy... it's going to be a huge win for my career in the future, for sure".



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This is the earliest the pair will meet in a tournament since their 2nd round match in the 1998 Australian Open . It's not exactly where I want to be, but I'll get there eventually".

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