Federer wins, 'weird' loss for Djokovic

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal

Federer is making his 17th appearance in the California desert and is assured of remaining world number one if he makes it to the semifinals in Indian Wells.

No wonder the injury hit Djokovic uttered to reporters afterward: "For me it felt like (the) first match I ever played on the tour".

The Spaniard once ranked No. 7 in the world is now ranked No. 39 said: "Well, I think that the match kind of, like, went up-and-downs a little bit, at least the two first sets with a break that he made me at the beginning".

Once the third set began, it didn't take long for most observers to realize that it was Daniel's match to lose.

The 34-old, who has seven career titles, pounded down 12 aces, including six in the deciding set.

Both Canadians in action lost, as Denis Shapovalov fell 7-6 (3), 6-3 to 30th-seeded Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay, and 20th-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France defeated qualifier Peter Polansky 6-1, 6-4. Moreover, Djokovic was handed just his fifth defeat to a player outside the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings in the past decade.

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

Djokovic took six months off after Wimbledon a year ago and returned in January's Australian Open where he lost in the fourth round. It was the former world No.1's first match since returning from an injury, which forced him to undergo a surgery earlier in February. It is still early stages for Novak coming back and the first one after surgery.

Amid a conversation with the umpire and Delbonis on court, Federer could be heard telling his Argentine opponent: "I can start but if you don't wanna start we don't have to". "When you go away from the game for over a two-month period, it starts feeling a little bit that way", the Express quoted Federer as saying.

On the women's side, top-ranked Simona Halep came back to top 19-year-old Caroline Dolehide 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2 in just over two hours. "He's only going to get better from here".

Frenchman Gael Monfils survived a match point before beating big-serving American John Isner 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 in a contest that had only one break.

Delbonis actually had a set point during the tiebreaker in the second set, but Federer thwarted off the threat and went on to win.

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