Taro Daniel from Japan celebrates after upsetting Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 11 March 2018. EPA-EFE/MIKE NELSON
International Sportsdesk, Mar 11 (efe-epa).- The Japanese Taro Daniel, ranked 109th in the world, was the surprise of the Indian Wells tournament on Sunday when he beat Serbian Novak Djokovic, who returned to the tournament following his elbow operation but showed that he was far from his best shape.
Djokovic, appearing in his second tournament in the last nine months, was lacking pace, was slow and without confidence. He was defeated by the enthusiasm of his rival, who did not miss the unique opportunity to win the game in the first time they played against each other.
Taro Daniel, without any major wins on his record, beat Djokovic 7-6 (3), 4-6 and 6-1 after two and a half hours of torment for the Serbian, who gave the feeling of not being comfortable on the court at all.
Five-time champion in Indian Wells, in 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016, and finalist in 2007, Djokovic reappeared at the Australian Open at the beginning of the year but lost in the second round. He then decided to stop and have an operation to heal his elbow injury.
Taro Daniel, meanwhile, will face the winner of the match between the Belgian Ruben Bemelmans and the Argentine Leonardo Mayer in the third round.