Arts&Culture

Rain wreaks havoc for Federer at Indian Wells

Rain wreaks havoc for Federer at Indian Wells

But at a time when top players are continuing to excel deep into their thirties - Roger Federer is back at No. 1 at age 36 - it is easy to overlook the re-emergence of the prodigies.

The two-hour-plus match delayed the start of the evening session on centre court, where top seed Federer finally made his first appearance in the event, up against 67th-ranked Argentine Federico Delbonis.

His title defence got off to a soggy start Saturday night when play was suspended because of rain showers with Federer up a set and tied 2-2 in the second.

"For me it felt like (the) first match I ever played on the tour".

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

His first event since becoming the oldest player to clinch the No.1 ranking, Federer improved to 13-0 in 2018, but will need to reach the semi-finals or risk being overtaken by Rafael Nadal.

Federer will face 25th-seed Filip Krajinovic in the third round.

Novak Djokovic who along with Federer came to win the sixth Indian Wells tournament lost to Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel.

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

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In just his second tournament since Wimbledon past year - his first comeback at the Australian Open in January saw him lose in the fourth round to Hyeon Chung before he chose to go under the knife for a "small medical intervention" - Djokovic looked well below his best as he went down 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-1 to a man ranked 109 in the world.

"I just completely lost rhythm, everything, struggled a little bit with the health the last couple of weeks".

No. 30 Pablo Cuevas beat up-and-coming Canadian Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Federer won the Indian Wells championship for a fifth time past year, adding to his crowns in the Southern California desert in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2012. "Very weird", he said of the loss to Daniel.

Djokovic underwent right elbow surgery after falling in the fourth round of the Australian Open in January. "I didn't serve too good today but overall I'm pleased".

"Definitely, I think it's motivating", Anisimova said in an interview last week. "And I just have to work really hard and keep that motivation high to be able to win matches". The first break of serve came in game five after a forced error from Roger but he pulled it back in the very next game when he stole Canas's serve at love to level the score at 3-3.

Daniel, who is ranked 109th in the world, advanced to the third round where he will face Gael Monfils of France.

In another upset, No. 16 Fabio Fognini lost to Jeremy Chardy 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4.


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