Novak Djokovic's struggles continue with Indian Wells defeat

Roger Federer of Switzerland tosses the ball for a serve against Filip Krajinovic of Serbia during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Ray Acevedo  EPA

Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion who lost to Federer in the final of this year's Australian Open, eased to a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Marton Fucsovics.

"Very weird - I just completely lost rhythm", Djokovic said.

Djokovic is making a cautious return to the ATP Tour after stopping his 2017 season following Wimbledon due to a right elbow injury. Just struggled also a little bit with (my) health the last couple of weeks. He had four aces but served poorly overall, making four double faults.

Meanwhile, top seed Roger Federer wrapped up his rain-delayed match against Argentina's Federico Delbonis, winning 6-3, 7-6 (8-6).

"It's been a long time since I have been interrupted at night and have to come back the next day", Federer said.

The Serb was once the most dominant player around - winning four straight grand slam titles from 2015 to 2016 - but little of that scintillating form was on display when the 12-time grand slam victor was upset by Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-1 in the second round in Indian Wells on Sunday.

His title defence got off to a soggy start on Saturday night when play was suspended because of rain, with Federer up a set and tied 2-2 in the second.

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Speaking to the media after the match, Djokovic said, "It felt like my first match on tour".

Federer is making his 17th appearance in the California desert and is assured of remaining world No. 1 if he makes it to the semifinals.

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.

It was another snag in the return for world No13 Djokovic, who admitted he lacked composure while playing in just his second event of 2018 and first since having surgery.

"And even though you don't have pain, you're still thinking about it, because it's been something that I have been feeling and dragging for over two years".

"Especially in a short spell, you get a lot of looks and you're very inspired".

Kasatkina has beaten all four of the current Grand Slam champions in the past year: French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko, Australian Open victor Caroline Wozniacki, Wimbledon victor Garbine Muguruza and now Stephens.

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