Federer opens Indian Wells title defense with 2-day win

Federer opens Indian Wells title defense with 2-day win

It was his first main draw match win since reaching the final at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Canberra, Australia, in October.

Frenchman Gael Monfils survived a match point before beating big-serving American 15th seed John Isner 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-3) 7-5.

Federer increased the lead to 4-1 with a hold of serve, but Delbonis managed to extend the set with a couple of holds in his own right.

In Melbourne alone, he needed to go the five-set distance three times, including the final against Rafael Nadal.

After his showing on Saturday and Sunday, the world's No. 1 player is well on his way to becoming a six-time Indian Wells champion.

He will face 25th-seed Filip Krajinovic in the third round.

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.

Federer - a 20-time grand slam champion - won the opening set 6-3 and was level with Federico Delbonis 2-2 in the second before rain halted play for the day.

He accepted his lack of composure during the game.

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Making his ATP World Tour return after a spell out with injury, Djokovic slumped to a shock defeat against Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel.

"I didn't come here to lose in the first round two and two", he said.

"And I think that, you know, after that tiebreak, I was just a little bit more solid than him".

He is sure to face a tougher task against Australian Open semi-finalist and South Korean star Hyeon Chung, who rallied past Dusan Lajovic 6-7 (9-11) 6-3 6-3.

Djokovic had four aces but served poorly overall making four double faults and winning just 65 percent of his first-serve points.

"I was attacking when I had my chances and controlling most of the times the points", said Cilic. "You kind of just feel that sense of comfort and confidence at certain places". "Very weird. I mean, I just completely lost rhythm", Djokovic said after the Daniel upset.

"It is still early stages for Novak coming back and the first one after surgery".

Daniel who ranks 109 in the world also advanced to the third round.

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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