Novak Djokovic stumbled in the third round at Indian Wells Tuesday, falling to German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-4.
The 35-year-old Kohlschreiber entered the match 0-11 against No. 1s and 1-8 against Djokovic. The match was resumed from 1-0 in the first after rain Sunday night.
“It’s a very special win today,” Kohlschreiber said. “I had a great strategy to play against him. I had two good wins. So everything came together. Very special to beat the No. 1. Unfortunately the tournament is not over. I have to get back tomorrow with a great mindset. Today I want to take the moment, celebrate with my coach. I’ve got a lot of messages. I know it’s a very special victory today.”
Djokovic was bidding to equal Rafael Nadal in overall Masters titles with 33 this week, and win a record 6th title in the desert, but falls early for the second straight year.
“It was raining. But completely different conditions today,” Djokovic said. “Ball bounces much higher. Obviously, he uses his spin very well. I wasn’t playing well. One of those days. I congratulate him for playing tactically really well and getting me out of my comfort zone. He deserved to win.
“He’s been around for so many years, and he doesn’t really get overwhelmed by the occasion of playing on center court or anything like that. He’s proven he can win against top guys. It’s not really a surprise.
“When he’s feeling the ball on a given day, he can really win against anybody on any surface for that matter.”
He remains in the doubles after reaching the semifinals with Fabio Fognini last night beating Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 7-6(6), 2-6, 10-6.
“Not easy mentally to refresh your mindset and concentration and get the right intensity on the court so quickly after disappointing loss in singles,” Djokovic said. “But it’s not the first time. I have done it in the past. I’m happy that we managed to pull that one through. We beat a very experienced doubles team.”
Kohlschreiber returns today to take on the surging Gael Monfils.
“Gael played better than me in these matches. He loves the big stage. He’s at the moment in a very good run. A lot of confidence. It’s going to be very tough, of course,” Kohlschreiber said. “I put all the pressure to him. He has great record against me. He’s higher-ranked. He has to win. I have nothing to lose tomorrow.”
Djokovic’s countryman fared better on they day. Former Paris Masters finalist and Filip Krajinovic rolled past an in-form Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-2. The 27-year-old Krajinovic had to qualify for the event, and thus far hasn’t dropped a set in five matches.
“I think I played really well from the beginning of the tournament,” said Krajinovic. “I was a little bit scared last night because I was a little bit sick. I didn’t know what to expect today, but everything went really well. I think I played a very, very good game today, and beat a rival who is an unbelievable player and who started the season really well so I’m happy for that and excited for the next one.”
Krajinovic now gets Nadal who is looking real good after two easy wins. Yesterday, Rafa pounded diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-1.
“I did a lot of things well. I started the match very well,” Nadal said. “My serve worked very well, especially in the first set. But during the second, I was doing things well anyway, so just happy having a match that I suffered in the past against Diego. We know each other well, so it’s a positive victory for me.”
Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka was the headline match of the day, but Federer made it anti-climactic, breaking early in both sets to cruise 6-3, 6-4.
“I think I felt good from the beginning,” said Federer. “The breeze picked up a little bit for the evening, I thought, but I didn’t feel like it had that much of a play in it. I think for me the plan worked. I was able to mix up my game, cover my serve, be dangerous on the return. Maybe take some rhythm away from Stan, like I always try to do, but you can’t always make it work.”
Federer now leads Wawrinka 22-3 overall and 17-0 on hard courts. He’ll get Indian Wells challenger winner Kyle Edmund. The Brit won his 7th straight match in the desert upending Radu Albot 6-3, 6-3.
“I have never played him, and so that’s exciting, especially an established player,” Federer said of Edmund. “I think he’s a really nice guy. Trains hard. He’s got good balance. Very similar backhand to Murray in some ways, also, by the technique of it. And the forehand really goes. He’s got some major power there. He can also serve big in the first serve.”
John Isner and Karen Khachanov also advanced to a big man showdown today.
Hubert Hurkacz beat Kei Nishikori for a second time in the last few weeks. After upsetting the Japanese in Dubai, the 22-year-old Pole did it against Tuesday with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win.
Hurkacz will now face Canadian Denis Shapovalov who eased past Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-2.
WEDNESDAY INDIAN WELLS SCHEDULE
STADIUM 1 11:00 Am
4th Rd (Q) Filip Krajinovic v 2 Rafael Nadal
Not Before 1:00 Pm
QF 20 Garbiñe Muguruza v (WC) Bianca Andreescu
4th Rd 22 Kyle Edmund v 4 Roger Federer
Not Before 6:00 Pm
QF 6 Elina Svitolina v Marketa Vondrousova
Not Before 8:00 Pm
4th Rd Philipp Kohlschreiber v 18 Gael Monfils
STADIUM 2 11:00 Am
4th Rd Yoshihito Nishioka v (LL) Miomir Kecmanovic
4th Rd JanLennard Struff v 13 Milos Raonic
4th Rd 8 John Isner v 12 Karen Khachanov
Not Before 6:00 Pm
4th Rd Ivo Karlovic v 7 Dominic Thiem
Not Before 8:00 Pm
QF 6 Lukasz Kubot/Marcelo Melo v Dominic Inglot/Franko Skugor
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