Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Roger Federer not focused on retaining No. 1 ranking

Roger Federer not focused on retaining No. 1 ranking

Though most of the crowd at Indian Wells came to see the former World No. 1 in his comeback following right elbow surgery, it was the 25-year-old Daniel who stole the show with a scrappy 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-1 victory.

Federer returned to stadium court on Sunday afternoon and needed an hour to finish off his second round victory 6-3, 7-6.

After a closely fought first two sets, Daniel said he sensed Djokovic, still clearly lacking match fitness, was tiring at the start of the third.

Rain - a rarity in the desert - delayed the start of the match, with Federer cautious but restless to get play underway in front of a capacity crowd. After another 90-minute delay organisers suspended play for the night.

20-times Grand Slam victor Federer is chasing a sixth title at the event, and will take some stop judging by the manner in which he swatted aside his 26-year-old opponent in only 58 minutes.

Taro Daniel, a 109th-ranked qualifier, upset five-time Indian Wells champion Novak Djokovic 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-1.

Djokovic shut down his season after Wimbledon in 2017 and despite not being at his best, made a decision to play at this year's Australian Open where he was ousted by South Korea's Hyeon Chung in the fourth round.

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After the defeat Novak told mediapersons" "It felt like the first match I have ever played on the tour, very weird.

"I just completely lost rhythm, everything", said Djokovic.

"I was playing aggressive and feeling like he was not loving my slice", Federer said.

Japan's Daniel won the first set on a tie-break before Djokovic, making his return from an elbow injury, took the second.

On a day when several seeds fell, the Serbian's loss and Zverev's departure at the hands of Joao Sousa were the biggest surprises.

He will next take on American world No. 21 Sam Querry, who ousted Germany's Mischa Zverev 6-4, 7-5. The No. 3, 4, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 seeds are all gone. Argentina's del Potro, who is fresh off winning the Mexican Open title in Acapulco, hammered five aces and broke de Minaur's serve five times.

Caroline Garcia also progressed in straight sets against Daria Gavrilova.

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