Roger Federer backs Novak Djokovic to improve after poor comeback

Roger Federer backs Novak Djokovic to improve after poor comeback

Roger Federer backs Novak Djokovic to improve after poor comeback

The world No. 25 had been scheduled to face Argentina's Leonardo Mayer in a second-round match. 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.

Also, American Taylor Fritz defeated Fernando Verdasco of Spain, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7/1), Croatia's Borna Coric breezed past Roberto Bautista 6-1, 6-3 and Pablo Carreno-Busta of Spain, stopped Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-1, 7-5.

With his triumph on Monday, Federer, victor of the 2018 Australian Open (20th Grand Slam title) and the Rotterdam tournament, extends his winning streak this year to 14-0.

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.

"To me, it's not that surprising", the defending champion said in California. "I mean, I just completely lost rhythm, everything".

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Playing for a third consecutive day due to weather delays in Indian Wells, the 36-year-old Swiss showed no sign of wear in the 58 minutes he took in the 6-2, 6-1 thrashing of the Serb in the pair's first ever meeting. The final score was 7-6, 4-6, 6-1. "Back in the day, I used to play six matches in a row". It is still early stages for Novak coming back and the first one after surgery. "He's only going to get better from here", concluded the world number one.

Federer and 10th seed Djokovic both came into the tournament seeking to become the first six-time victor of the event.

"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".

"I was attacking when I had my chances and controlling most of the times the points", said Cilic.

Federer continued: "I wasn't playing that good in my first [opening] round". "I didn't serve too good today but overall I'm pleased".

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