Djokovic suffers 'weird' loss to qualifier at Indian Wells

Djokovic suffers 'weird' loss to qualifier at Indian Wells

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

It was another snag in the return for the 30-year-old Djokovic who was playing in just his second event of 2018 after the Australian Open in January.

Earlier, Japan's Kei Nishikori said he had withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells through illness.

The Swiss legend returned to stadium court on Sunday afternoon and needed an hour to close out his second-round victory 6-3, 7-6 (8-6).

"It felt like the first match I have ever played on the tour, very weird", the 12-times grand slam champion told reporters.

Serbian champion Djokovic was making a return from elbow surgery.

"You're only really as good as your last match", Federer added. "Just struggled also a little bit with the health the last couple of weeks", said Djokovic, who appears to be dealing with the flu.

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Kasatkina has beaten all four of the current Grand Slam champions in the previous year: French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko, Australian Open victor Caroline Wozniacki, Wimbledon victor Garbine Muguruza and now Stephens.

"We wondered post surgery what it was going to look like, how his elbow was going to react to the strain and stress, but it was his heart and head that didn't react the right way in this match.

It gave me a ton of inspiration for my upcoming matches", he said. "I was actually pretty nervous playing the match", said the 25-year-old Daniel. Daniel went up 4-1 in the tiebreak before Djokovic got the minibreak back. "Nerves were there. I made so many unforced errors".

'I think that would be a mistake.

However, ninth-seeded Lucas Pouille of France and 14th-seeded Diego Schwartzman of Argentina both lost to qualifiers, and 15th-seeded American John Isner fell to France's Gael Monfils 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 7-5.

Federer, who took over from Rafael Nadal as the top ranked ATP men's singles player in February, needs to make, at least, the semi-finals in order to remain at the summit.

Spanish veterans David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez recorded routine straight-sets wins over Tennys Sandgren and Ernesto Escobedo respectively while Philipp Kohlschreiber outlasted Tim Smyczek.