World No 3 Novak Djokovic produced a mystifying performance and lost to Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel in the second round at the BNP Paribas Open in California on March 11.
After his return from right elbow surgery, former world number one looked a pale shadow of his former self as he went down 7-6(3) 4-6 6-1 to make a quick exit from a tournament he has won five times.
Six-time Australian Open champion, took six months off after Wimbledon Champion last year and returned in January’s Australian Open and were lost in the fourth round.
The 30-year-old, Serbian’s performance in the final set against the world’s 109th-ranked player on center court raised some eyebrows, with four-time grand slam champion Jim Courier saying the Serb had “capitulated”.
World No 1 Roger Federer avoided the same fate as Djokovic, though the Swiss top-seeded was pushed by left-handed Argentine Federico Delbonis in a match that was ended on Sunday after being halted by rain at 2-2 in the second set the previous day. The top seed fended off a set point in the tiebreak to beat Delbonis 6-3 7-6(6).
While, on the other hand, 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.
Isner, the 15th seed, frittered away seven break points, while Monfils converted one of his three opportunities, which proved enough. Yuki Bhambri of India pulled off a surprise when he toppled ninth-seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-4 6-4.
Israeli Dudi Sela beat British 21st seed Edmund 6-4 6-4, while Luxemburg’s 24th seed Giles Muller was upset by Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3 7-5.
In late action, Croat second seed Marin Cilic beat Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 7-5 6-3, while Canadian Milos Raonic defeated 17-year-old compatriot Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4 6-4.
About the Author
Tanya Attri is a sports journalist who lives in Sonipat and working
for Sports Flashes. She has also worked with Times of India for 5
months as a Junior Editor. She is a sports freak and writes for all
the sports but has special liking for badminton.