Monday, 23 July, 2018

Indian Wells: Federer, Serena wins; Djokovic loses

Roger Federer Roger Federer won the Australian Open in 2018Reuters
Nellie Chapman | 12 March, 2018, 15:15

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

Next up for Thiem is 30th seed Pablo Cuevas, who saw off teenage sensation Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.

Federer charged into a 4-1 lead, then went ahead 5-2, stuttering before clinching the match with a stretching trademark volley that Delbonis returned into the net.

The world No.1 - who has a flawless 13-0 record this year - is the defending champion and is bidding for a sixth Indian Wells title.

Federer denied all three break points he faced setting up a third-round clash with 25th-seeded Serbian Filip Krajinovic not before 1 p.m. tomorrow.

Federer - a 20-time grand slam champion - won the opening set 6-3 and was level with Federico Delbonis 2-2 in the second before rain halted play for the day.

When play resumed Sunday, Federer and Delbonis traded holds of serve before going to a tiebreak.

Novak Djokovic during his second round match against Taro Daniel.

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

Despite the myriad achievements in his career, one moment stands out for Federer as the best match he's ever played.

Federer said he understands well how even a champion like Djokovic could be struggling to find his game so soon after having surgery.

He is sure to face a tougher task against Australian Open semi-finalist and South Korean star Hyeon Chung, who rallied past Dusan Lajovic 6-7 (9-11) 6-3 6-3.

Djokovic scrambled to win the second set on Sunday but the rust from the layoff was evident as he made 62 unforced errors overall.

"When you do come back from injury or when you haven't played in a long time, it just takes extra effort". "I'd like to congratulate my opponent for fighting and showing great, great spirit on the court", said Djokovic. "I mean, I just completely lost rhythm, everything".

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

Thiem has already won a tour-leading 17 matches this season, but he had to work hard to beat 19-year-old Tsitsipas, who reached the quarter-finals in Dubai last week and is ranked 71st in the world.

In-form seventh seed Kevin Anderson accounted for Evgeny Donskoy 7-5 6-4.