Federer Completes Rain-Delayed Win; Djokovic Loses to Daniel in Second Round of BNP Paribas Open
(March 11, 2018) INDIAN WELLS, California -Top seed Roger Federer completed a match halted by rain at 6-3, 2-2 on Saturday night at the BNP Paribas Open. His match continued as the third match on Stadium 1 court. The Swiss completed his win over Argentina’s Federico Delbonis 6-3, 7-6(6) to reach the third round against 25th seed Filip Krajinovic of Serbia.
“When you go from night to day and you play a different opponent you never — you know there is a difference, but you also know there is a difference in opponent, and he plays different. So naturally it’s all a change. Whereas, here now you play the same guy the next day, so you can really compare, you know, how different conditions are. It was actually quite interesting.
“They play very different. You know, the nighttime is much more deader. The surface doesn’t react so much. The ball doesn’t travel so fast. Even though I served my five aces yesterday, none today. So talking about faster, I just think there is more bounce to it, especially if you play someone who has a lot of spin like he has and kicks the ball around a lot.
“Yeah, it’s been a long time since I have been interrupted at night and have to come back the next day.”
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Novak Djokovic is back on the court for his first match since the Australian Open. He lost to No. 109 Taro Daniel of Japan 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-1.
Clearly not 100% healthy, Djokovic talked about getting back on court.
“For me it felt like first match I ever played on the tour,” Djokovic said to media. “Very weird. I mean, I just completely lost rhythm, everything. Just struggled also a little bit with the health the last couple of weeks.
“But yeah, it was just — 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.”
“Practice sessions are different obviously from official match. Mentally mostly, obviously.
“Yeah, I mean, I haven’t been playing that well on the practice, as well. It is what it is. You know, I’m just happy that I managed to recover that quickly after surgery and just get out on the court.”
The Serbian hit 61 unforced errors during the match.
Daniel came in as a qualifier. His win over Djokovic was his first main draw win in a tournament since an ATP Challenger event in October.
“Warming up this morning, I was like, crap, this court is really big. I was actually pretty nervous playing the match,” Daniel said in his news conference.
“But he obviously wasn’t in his top form, so I was able to take advantage of it. And even if I lost the second set, I still had faith I could pull something off in the third.
“And I was able to stay pretty tough, so I’m pretty proud of that, yeah.”
Daniel will play Leonardo Mayer for a place in the round of 16.
Federer was asked about Djokovic’s loss and what it’s like coming back from an injury layoff. Federer took six months off at the end of 2016.
“When you go away from the game for, let’s say, over a two-month period maybe, it starts feeling a little bit that way. You know, when you do come back, it’s like, oh, those break points; oh, those deuce points; those 30-All points; 15-30s; first point of the game. Where normally, you know, when you’ve played a lot of matches, you just rock up, you hit a good serve, play a good point, 15-Love, you just move along with the score. But you put extra effort to manage all that’s happening in your head.
“I feel like when you do come back from injury or when you haven’t played in a long time, it just takes extra effort. I think that’s probably also what he’s also feeling. And maybe was tired in the end a bit because, yeah, the focus you need to have is greater.
“You know, maybe I was lucky that when I did come back I had the Hopman Cup where I played the three singles, three doubles. But then it wasn’t straightforward, either, against Melzer and Rubin, I believe, at the Australian Open. But this maybe is also a slower surface, so he had to work harder for it. So maybe you could argue it’s not so bad for him as well, so he has got more margin.
“But I also thought Taro Daniel played very well, you know, made him work for it. Normally it’s the way Novak wins it. So this time he just lost one like this.
“Look, still such early stages for Novak coming back and the first one after surgery. Yeah, just — he’s only going to get better from here. He knows that. We all know that. But it was nice to see him playing again.
“I see where he’s coming from. I think every player feels that way. It’s maybe just strange to hear that from such a champion, you know, that he also feels that way.”
In the evening session, seed Juan Martin del Potro dominates Australian teen De Minaur 6-2, 6-1.
“I played solid from all the ways,” said the 2009 US Open winner from Argentina. “I did my game during whole match. I played very aggressive in my returning games. I served well, and I think I played better than I expect before the match.”
Top American Jack Sock has reached the third round. The world No. 10 beat Thomas Fabbiano 6-2, 7-5.
Sock said that winning the Paris Masters last year has given him more confidence.
“Winning a Masters 1000 gives you more confidence, and to play through a full draw at a tournament like this, obviously I didn’t play the most typical names in a Masters draw.”
“I did put myself into a position to win the tournament, you never know what can happen in these tournaments. That’s why you are in them. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think I could win the tournament.”
Sock loves the Indian Wells court surface. “Great – slow gritty, high-bouncing just like last year, like every year really. I thoroughly enjoy it, I think it suits my game well.”
He’ll be playing Feliciano Lopez next.
Second seed Marin Cilic advanced with a straight sets win overover Martin Fucsovics.
Gael Monfils knocked out No. 15 seed John Isner 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 7-5.