'Novak Djokovic is only going to get better'

ATP Indian Wells: Roger Federer tops Delbonis to keep perfect score in 2018

The Serb was once the most dominant player around - winning four straight grand slam titles from 2015 to 2016 - but little of that scintillating form was on display when the 12-time grand slam victor was upset by Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-1 in the second round in Indian Wells on Sunday.

Federer needs to make the semi-finals to retain his number one ranking.

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.

But the decision backfired as he peppered the court with 61 unforced errors and totally faded away in the third set in the second round clash that lasted 2 hours 30 minutes.

The Serb is making a cautious return to the ATP Tour after stopping his 2017 season following Wimbledon, due to a right elbow injury. Federer said on Thursday that he won't be taking anyone for granted in this draw.

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

'It felt like the first match I have ever played on the tour, very weird.

Daniel had two break points to level it at 5-5 but, this time, Djokovic did come through - despite wasting his first set point with a horribly shanked drive volley.

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

Roger Federer overcame his first match in a successful way in Indian Wells beating Federico Delbonis 6-3 7-6 over two days.

Djokovic had four aces but overall he served poorly making four double faults and winning just 65 percent of his first-serve points.

The ex-world No. 1 says he is yet to find his rhythm in practice as well but is glad he recovered sooner than expected from his surgery and that he managed to get on a match court this week.

"It's been a long time since I have been interrupted at night and have to come back the next day", Federer said.

The defeat was just the fifth time in the past decade former world number one Djokovic has lost against a player outside the top 100 players in the world.

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

The win sets up a third round showdown with Spaniard David Ferrer who defeated Tennys Sandgren of the U.S. 6-2, 7-6 (7/3).

The five-time Indian Wells champion regained his composure and the momentum by breaking for a 4-3 lead in the second, only to again struggle to get the job done.

Fifteenth seed John Isner also crashed out after losing in three sets to France's Gael Monfils.

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