Sunday, March 10, 2019

Roger Federer keeps the winning going at Indian Wells may face Stan Wawrinka next

In his first match since claiming his 100th tour-level title in Dubai, fourth seed Roger Federer defeated German Peter Gojowczyk 6-1, 7-5 on Sunday to reach the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.

Federer has now advanced to the third round or better at Indian Wells in 10 straight appearances, and he is trying to make his fifth consecutive final at the ATP Masters 1000 event (he did not play in 2016). There could be a rematch of the 2017 final in the third round, as Federer will face Stan Wawrinka next if the former World No. 3 could oust 29th seed Marton Fucsovics.

Federer is chasing a record sixth title at the BNP Paribas Open. The 37-year-old Swiss and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic both have captured five trophies in the desert.

It appeared Federer would face little difficulty against Gojowczyk, using his backhand slice to effectively keep the German from gaining any rhythm. But the World No. 85 saved four break points in the first service game of the second set, and used the momentum from that to eventually break for a 3-1 lead. While Federer immediately broke back, he had to battle an inspired Gojowczyk for the rest of the set, eventually benefitting an untimely double fault to break before serving out the match after one hour and 17 minutes.

Federer did well to create opportunities against Gojowczyk, earning 14 break points and converting four of them. The Swiss also played well under pressure, staving off six of the German's seven chances.

Federer's 63 wins at Indian Wells are the most he has earned at any Masters 1000 event. The recent Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships winner is now 9-1 on the season, with his only loss coming against reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Another seeded player in Federer’s section is No. 22 seed Kyle Edmund, who defeated Chilean Nicolas Jarry 6-2, 6-0 in just 51 minutes. Edmund has proven his comfort in the desert, winning an ATP Challenger Tour event at the same facility last week.

The Brit will next face 16th seed Fabio Fognini or Delray Beach Open by champion Radu Albot.

"Five matches in the Challenger helped last week with my confidence, in my game, and on my body. Today was just about managing expectations," Edmund said. "I've been feeling good, and obviously won the Challenger, so I was telling myself not to expect to come out and play well, but... compete really hard and earn the victory rather than just playing well. It was great. I ended up playing well, seeing the ball well, reading his serve good. Just really happy for the win."

Did You Know?

Since 2011, Federer has not lost to a player outside the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings at Indian Wells. Three of his five defeats in the desert during that span have come against Novak Djokovic, with Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro beating him once each.

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