In his first match since the Australian Open, 12-time major champion Novak Djokovic lost to 100th-ranked Taro Daniel, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-1 in the second round at Indian Wells on Sunday.
Djokovic led 5-2 in the first set and looked to be cruising, until he suddenly lost the range on his backhand and started gift-wrapping points with mystifying errors. A rock-solid Daniel took advantage and came back to win the first set in a breaker.
Djokovic played without the elbow sleeve he wore in Melbourne, but he still didn't seem physically healthy, whether because the right elbow is still giving him problems or because he simply isn't match fit after the long hiatus. He rebounded to win the second set – though not before nearly squandering another 5-2 lead – and then completely capitulated in the decider.
Daniel leonardo Mayer
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