Federer wins rain-delayed match

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal

GETTYDominic Thiem thinks Nadal is a better players than Federer

When play finally started, Federer set out to avenge his defeat to Delbonis in 2013 - the pair's only other ATP meeting.

Neither the elements nor Federico Delbonis could prevent the world No. 1 from extending his flawless start to the season in paradise.

The 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-1 loss resulted in a quick exit from a tournament the Serbian has won five times.

Federer was at his trademark best, fluid and graceful as the Swiss star broke in the fourth game for a 3-1 lead and never looked back.

"But, you know, after an opponent like this, to come back from two breaks down, actually, for me it was nearly impossible".

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"When you go from night to day [you are usually] playing a different opponent - so, naturally, it's all a change", said Federer. It was actually quite interesting.

"The night-time is much deader". The ball doesn't travel so fast.

Conditions weren't the only challenge in a sometime tricky test against the Argentine lefty who won his lone prior meeting with Federer on the red clay of Hamburg in 2013.

The match was tied 2-2 in the second set when it was halted Saturday.

Unfazed, Federer reeled off three straight points to close in one hour, 41 minutes.

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While Federer was far from flawless, he did improve to an unblemished 13-0 on the year and took the next step in snaring his third title of the young season.

It was the former world No.1's first match since returning from an injury, which forced him to undergo a surgery earlier in February.

"Not really", Federer said during his opening news conference here Thursday. "Very weird. I mean, I just completely lost rhythm, everything".

"But it's not easy to deal with this kind of frustrations after injuries or when you always be the favorite to win a tournament, you come here and you lose in first round". "Normally it's the way Novak wins it". The defending champion needs to make it to at least the semi-finals to remain the number one as he is now just 600 points ahead of Nadal. It is still early stages for Novak coming back and the first one after surgery.

"I have been sick for over a week and tried everything I could to get better". But while he may be revitalized physically, as far as we know, the former No. 1 showed plenty of rust in his tour return, which was central to the outcome.

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Verdasco's first serve proved almost unplayable in the deciding set of the second round match as he improved his career head-to-head record against Dimitrov to 2-2. "It's maybe just unusual to hear that from such a champion, you know, that he also feels that way".

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