"It felt like the first match I have ever played on the tour, very weird", he told reporters. When you do come back from injury or when you haven't played in a long time, it just takes extra effort.
American Amanda Anisimova took down two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-2 6-4 in a match lasting just over an hour to become the first 16-year-old to move into the fourth round at Indian Wells since Viktoriya Kutuzova in 2005.
In spite of the loss, the former world number one was able to take away some positives.
"I didn't come here to lose in the first round or two", he said.
Israeli Dudi Sela beat British 21st seed Edmund 6-4 6-4, while Luxemburg's 24th seed Giles Muller was upset by Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3 7-5.
"But I also thought Taro Daniel played very well, you know, made him work for it. Normally it's the way Novak wins it".
He was unable to get past his opening match in Indian Wells on Sunday even after another extended break from the game he once dominated and after what he termed "a small medical intervention" on his troublesome right elbow.
British number one Kyle Edmund was beaten in straight sets by Israel's Dudi Sela 6-4 6-4 in his first match since reaching the Australian Open semi-finals.
He claimed his 20th Grand Slam earlier this year when he defeated Marin Cilic in the Australian Open final in Melbourne. "I was actually pretty nervous playing the match", Daniel said in his news conference.
If God played tennis he would be Roger Federer.
Likewise, 23rd-seeded Hyeon Chung of South Korea dispatched 12th-seeded Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4, despite 12 aces against just one double fault from Berdych.
Federer staved off a set point in the tiebreak to beat Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (6).
But that was about as competitive as things got in the third-round match at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Monday.