Federer downs Delbonis to kick off Indian Wells Masters title defence

Ruben Hill
March 14, 2018

The biggest upset of the day came courtesy of Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco, who knocked out third-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3 in 2 hours, 8 minutes.

4-6 6-1 in the second-round tie on his first appearance since an injury ended his Australian Open challenge in January.

Djokovic is making a cautious return to the ATP Tour after stopping his 2017 season following Wimbledon due to a right elbow injury.

After losing to Hyeon Chung in the fourth round of the Australian Open, Djokovic took some time to get himself healthy.

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".

South African seventh seed Kevin Anderson also prevailed in his second round match, 7-5 6-4 over Russian Evgeny Donskoy.

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 start serving, like, I think most first serves and actually, like, like harder, like faster.

In late action, Croat second seed Marin Cilic beat Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 7-5, 6-3, while Canadian Milos Raonic defeated 17-year-old compatriot Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-4.

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".

Dimitrov reached the final earlier this year in Rotterdam, where he lost to Roger Federer.

Daniel, meanwhile, will face the victor of the match between the Belgian Ruben Bemelmans and the Argentine Leonardo Mayer in the third round. "Very weird. I mean, I just completely lost rhythm, everything".

However, Daniel bounced back as he won the third set comfortably to clinch the match. "He's only going to get better from here".

Having enjoyed so much success in the California desert by winning five titles, Sunday marked his earliest Indian Wells exit since his debut in 2006.

When play finally started, Federer set out to avenge his defeat to Delbonis in 2013 - the pair's only other ATP meeting.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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