Federer and Delbonis delayed by rain, Dimitrov beaten

Published by TenniSmash

Roger Federer went into the match with a losing record against Federico Delbonis; Getty Images
Roger Federer takes the first set against Federico Delbonis before play is suspended, but the rain comes too late to save Grigor Dimitrov.

Roger Federer looked on course to make a winning start to his Indian Wells title defence when rain halted his second-round match against Argentina’s Federico Delbonis.

The five-time champion led 6-3 2-2 on Stadium 1 when the weather intervened, forcing the players off court.

Federer, given a bye in round one as the top seed, had lost his only previous match against Delbonis on the Hamburg clay five years ago.

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An unusual number of errors came off the 20-time Grand Slam champion’s forehand side in the first set on a cool and breezy evening, but he kept enough control to move ahead of the world number 67.

The Swiss saved two break points on his way to closing out the opening set and the pair were locked on serve early in the second when the forecast rain finally arrived.

They will resume in the third match on Sunday, after former world number one Novak Djokovic returns for the first time following elbow surgery against Japan’s Taro Daniel.

There was a shock earlier on Saturday when third seed Grigor Dimitrov fell in his opening match against Fernando Verdasco, the Spaniard winning 7-4(4) 4-6 6-3.

Fifth see Dominic Thiem edged past Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2 3-6 6-3, and 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov went down 7-6(4) 6-3 to Uruguayan 30th seed Pablo Cuevas.

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South Africa’s seventh seed Kevin Anderson beat Russian Evgeny Donskoy 7-5 6-4, and Czech 12th seed Tomas Berdych saw off Germany’s Maximilian Marterer 6-1 6-4.

Australian Open semi-finalist Hyeon Chung of South Korea edged out Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 6-7(9) 6-3 6-3.

 

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