Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Djokovic suffers 'weird' loss to qualifier at Indian Wells

Djokovic suffers 'weird' loss to qualifier at Indian Wells

The 24-year-old is leading the ATP World Tour with the most wins at 17-3.

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.

It was the earliest loss for Djokovic at Indian Wells since a first-round exit in 2006.

"To me, it's not that surprising".

Verdasco's first serve proved almost unplayable in the deciding set of the second round match as he improved his career head-to-head record against Dimitrov to 2-2. The final score was 7-6, 4-6, 6-1.

It was another snag in the return for world number 13 Djokovic, who admitted he lacked composure while playing in just his second event of 2018 and first since having surgery.

"I was grateful to be out on the court after surgery that quickly but at the same time just didn't feel good at all", he added.

"I made so many unforced errors that it was just one of those days where you're not able to find the rhythm from the baseline, especially from the backhand side".

Djokovic said he felt like it was his "first match" on tour and was unable to explain his opening set stumble or his capitulation in the decider.

"So, you know, I think that was the key at the end, that at the end of third set I served better than him". Fernando Verdasco, who defeated Grigor Dimitrov in the second round, will play against Taylor Fritz.

Djokovic, meanwhile, is scheduled to compete in the Miami Open in just over a week.

It was a determined Delbonis who looked to have been eased by the clearer conditions and he forced Federer to rescue a break point in the second game after the restart.

Delbonis actually had a set point during the tiebreaker in the second set, but Federer thwarted off the threat and went on to win. Rain has caused delays since, most recently in 2016, but those delays were relatively short and matches resumed the same day.

In contrast, Federer has only clinched one. The 10th seed in the women's draw. They will resume on Sunday as the third match on Stadium 1 court.

Daniel, meanwhile, will face the victor of the match between the Belgian Ruben Bemelmans and the Argentine Leonardo Mayer in the third round. The two instead played Sunday afternoon and Stephens looked very sharp in dispatching Azarenka 6-1, 7-5.

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