Roger Federer rolls into Indian Wells fourth round

Eyeing a sixth title at Indian Wells, world number one and defending champion Federer completed a 6-3 7-6 (8-6) victory over Federico Delbonis.

South Korea's Hyeon Chung, who surpassed all expectations to reach the Australian Open semi-finals earlier this year, also advanced, taking almost three hours to overcome Dusan Lajovic 6-7 (11/9) 6-3 6-3. "Back in the day I used to play six matches in the row".

Rain - a rarity in the desert - delayed the start of the match, with Federer cautious but restless to get play underway in front of a capacity crowd. After another 90-minute delay, the organisers suspended play for the night.

Federer will be replaced by Spaniard Nadal - who is absent from the Masters tournament this year - if the 20-time grand slam champion loses before the semis.

Federer - the defending champion and a five-time victor of this event - required less than an hour on Stadium 1 to get the better of the Serbian world number 28.

Novak Djokovic lost on his return to competitive tennis to Taro Daniel in the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

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The Swiss maestro is unbeaten since the start of the season having won both the tournaments he has entered thus far - the Australian Open in January and the Rotterdam Open the following month.

He added, "Very weird".

"The rest, I said I will decide after Miami to then decide what I will play if I do play the clay court after that".

Djokovic scrambled to win the second set but looked rusty on stadium court, making 62 unforced errors compared to 29 for Daniel.

Federer continued: "I wasn't playing that good in my first [opening] round. So talking about faster, I just think there is more bounce to it, especially if you play someone who has a lot of spin like he has and kicks the ball around a lot". "He's only going to get better from here", concluded the world number one. Daniel, who is ranked 109th in the world, advanced to the third round where he will face Gael Monfils of France. Argentina's del Potro, who is fresh off winning the Mexican Open title in Acapulco, hammered five aces and broke de Minaur's serve five times.

Spanish 11th seed Pablo Carreno Busta defeated Daniil Medvedev 6-1 7-5 but 13th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut was dismantled 6-1 6-3 by 21-year-old Croatian Borna Coric.

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