In his first match since the Australian Open, the five-time BNP Paribas Open champion lost to world no.109 Taro Daniel 6-7 (3), 6-4, 1-6. It was Novak's first event since medical intervention on his right elbow. The Japanese qualifier claimed the win after two hours and 30 minutes of play
Novak survived a scorching Melbourne summer’s day and an early challenge from Gael Monfils on Thursday to reach the Australian Open third round. The 30-year-old Serbian star rallied from a set down to beat the Frenchman 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3.
Novak got his grass campaign underway with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over qualifier Vasek Pospisil in 85 minutes.
Nole goes on to play Feliciano Lopez (ESP, H2H 8-1) in the last 16 on Thursday.
Next up for the two-time former champion is no.13 seed Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP).
Novak and Viktor saved one match point en-route to a 5-7, 6-1, 11-9 victory over Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut. They face Klaase/Ram in quarter-finals.