Federer holds off Delbonis to kick off title defence

Tennis BNP Paribas Open Day 7

Tennis BNP Paribas Open Day 7

Roger Federer has warned the rest of the ATP Tour that Novak Djokovic "is going to get better" despite the Serb falling at the first hurdle at Indian Wells.

Roger Federer is coming off a straight sets win over Filip Krajinovic that took 15 games to decide.

Federer, as top seed, received a bye into the second round, beginning his Indian Wells campaign against Federico Delbonis. I just completely lost rhythm, everything. I was not even supposed to be here because of the surgery that was only five, six weeks ago. "But I recovered very quickly, and I got myself ready".

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

This is published unedited from the ANI feed.

"Obviously having only played a couple of matches in nine months, you're still, in a way, battling inside of your mind whether you're fit or not". He pulled it back in the second set, but was blown away by the Japanese youngster in the decider. I was able to stay pretty tough, so I'm pretty proud of that.

What he saw was his 36-year-old father overcome a shaky first set in which there were four breaks of serve.

These two have played four times and Federer has won three of those matches. He lost to Chung Hyeon in the Australian Open fourth round in January before undergoing the surgery.

"You keep doing it, doing it but then you have to be careful you don't get too cute with it". "When you go from night to day, (normally you are) playing a different opponent, so naturally, it's all a change".

"I probably won't play in the very beginning, you know, meaning Monaco. It was a good day". The surface doesn't react so much; the ball doesn't travel so fast.

Djokovic is making a cautious return to the ATP Tour after stopping his 2017 season following Wimbledon due to a right elbow injury.

In other men's matches, Juan Martin del Potro steamed his way into the third round as the sixth seed needed just 69 minutes to beat Australian teenager Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-1.

Seeded losers included Italian No. 16 Fabio Fognini, 4-6 7-6 (2) 6-4 against Jeremy Chardy of France, and Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas, hammered 6-0 6-3 by young Croat Borna Coric.

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