15 March, 2018
The New York-born Japanese went toe-to-toe with Djokovic in the long rallies, and would fire a down-the-line backhand every now and then that wowed the day session crowd.
Photo Novak Djokovic after losing to Daniel on Sunday, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-1.
20-times Grand Slam victor Federer is chasing a sixth title at the event, and will take some stop judging by the manner in which he swatted aside his 26-year-old opponent in only 58 minutes.
Federer continued: "I wasn't playing that good in my first [opening] round".
Speaking after his upset win, Daniel said the Djokovic he bounded out of the tournament was not the one the tennis world is used to admiring.
"It was unbelievable", the 109th-ranked Daniel said. "She's the best player I have ever played, and it was the biggest court I have ever played on". "Now we're in Indian Wells and that's my focus and not what I have achieved in the past".
"I was not even supposed to be here because of the surgery that was only five, six weeks ago". But he did say on Sunday that he initially did not expect to be ready to play in Indian Wells but recovered more quickly than anticipated. He has been replaced by lucky loser Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium.
Also falling was Alexander Zverev. He was trailing Pablo Cuevas 6-3 4-6 2-4. Zverev led by 5-2 in the first and 4-1 in the third.More news: Shami quashes wife Hasin Jahan's adultery charge
Yuki Bhambri of India pulled off a surprise when he toppled ninth-seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-4 6-4. Seventh seed Kevin Anderson took down Nicolas Kicker 7-6 (1), 7-6 (3) and South Korea's Chung Hyeon beat Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-4. The match resumed at 2-all in the second. "Very weird", Djokovic said. "The surface doesn't react so much; the ball doesn't travel so fast".
"So I'm on a good run right now, and I try to maintain that, and you only maintain that if you respect every opponent".
"You can't really look ahead to semi-finals, finals and speculate about who you could play", he said.
"When you do come back from injury or when you haven't played in a long time, it just takes extra effort".
In the evening, Juan Martin del Potro had his way with Alex De Minaur blasting the young Australian 6-2, 6-1.
Daniel, who is ranked 109th in the world, advanced to the third round where he will face Gael Monfils of France. And he's a lot further along than where I was when I was his age by light years.
"I think that would be a mistake". Daniel went up 4-1 in the tiebreak before Djokovic got the minibreak back.
Two different generations playing in the same tournaments, and it's so exciting to have Serena back.