Federer explains why Novak Djokovic's exit at Indian Wells is 'not surprising'

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

The 12-time Major victor was beaten in the fourth round of the Australian Open in January after his elbow troubles had kept him out of action since the 2017 Wimbledon Championships.

Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel sent Novak Djokovic tumbling out in the second round of the Indian Wells Masters with a 7-6, 4-6, 6-1 win on Sunday.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion has enjoyed a flawless start to 2018 winning the Australian Open and ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, and is bidding to claim a record sixth title - his 28th Masters 1000 crown - in the California desert.

Nadal is now out with a recurrence of his hip injury, Djokovic is struggling after elbow problems and Murray is recovering from major surgery in January.

Eighth seed Jack Sock, 18th seed Sam Querrey, 32nd seed Milos Raonic all progressed into the third round.

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

Federer staved off a set point in the tiebreak to beat Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (6).

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Federer said he understands well how even a champion like Djokovic could be struggling to find his game so soon after having surgery.

"To me, it's not that surprising", Federer said of Novak's loss.

Meanwhile, Kei Nishikori pulled out ahead of his opening match due to illness.

"It doesn't take very much to get that feeling back, but in the beginning it's very odd when you haven't played match plays". Yeah, just - he's only going to get better from here.

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.

However, Daniel bounced back as he won the third set comfortably to clinch the match.

World No. 3 Marin Cilic also won on Sunday, defeating Hungary's Marton Fucsovics in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3.

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