Federer explains why Novak Djokovic's exit at Indian Wells is 'not surprising'

Joann Johnston
March 13, 2018

Moreover, Djokovic was handed just his fifth defeat to a player outside the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings in the past decade.

The American-born Japanese player won the first set on a tie-breaker, before losing the second set 6-4 to Djokovic.

Rain barred Federer from completing the first match of his title defence at the season's opening ATP Masters 1000 tournament on Saturday. After another 90-minute delay, the organisers suspended play for the night.

Federer is making his 17th appearance in the California desert and is assured of remaining world number one if he makes it to the semi-finals in Indian Wells.

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

The 20-time Grand Slam champion next takes on the 25th seed Filip Krajinovic for a spot in the pre-quarter-finals. "Very weird. I mean, I just completely lost rhythm, everything".

"And I think that, you know, after that tiebreak, I was just a little bit more solid than him".

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He and 10th seed Djokovic both came into the tournament seeking to become the first six-time victor of the event.

Djokovic who had been out of action for nearly two months after his defeat against Korean Chung at the Australian Open had taken the second half of 2017 off to heal from an elbow injury.

Federer said of the situation: "To me, it's not that surprising". Daniel sent an out-of-sorts Djokovic tumbling with a hard-fought 7-6, 4-6, 6-1 victory.

Djokovic took six months off after Wimbledon past year and returned at January's Australian Open, where he lost in the fourth round.

Novak Djokovic struggled during his second-round match against Taro Daniel.

Federer was at his trademark best, fluid and graceful as the Swiss star broke in the fourth game for a 3-1 lead and never looked back. When you do come back from injury or when you haven't played in a long time, it just takes extra effort. "He's got a lot of things going for him, that's for sure".

Daniel, who beat Britain's Cameron Norrie in the first round, will next meet Leonardo Mayer, who defeated Ruben Bemelmans 6-4 6-1.

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