Federer advances to BNP semifinals after opponent withdraws due to illness

Ross Houston
March 29, 2017

"I was actually really looking forward to the match", said Federer, who had looked sharp in a 6-2 6-3 dismantling of Rafael Nadal in the fourth round - a reprise of his thrilling five-set victory over his old foe in the final in Melbourne.

The out-of-sorts Djokovic has had a brutal draw in Indian Wells, having played - and ousted - 2009 US Open victor Juan Martin del Potro in the third round.

"First thing he told me after the match was: 'Great match, great backhands", Federer said of his father's encouragement.

"I didn't think it was going to be possible, to be quite honest, because the court is more jumpy here or more rough, let's say, so it's hard to put the ball away".

Federer broke Nadal to open the match in front of a packed Stadium 1 crowd.

The victory marked the first time in a rivalry stretching back to 2004 that Federer has strung together three straight wins over Nadal. "I had good chances to win".

"I did very well today, I'm so pleased I'm able to step into the court and play super aggressive", said Federer.

On Tuesday, the fifth-seeded Nadal rolled past 26 seed and fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-5, the 50 time he has won a match at Indian Wells.

Having defeated Djokovic twice in a month and now preparing for a quarter-final clash with Roger Federer, Kyrgios certainly seems to have turned a corner in spite of a continued poor image he's quick to dispute.

Two out of three best players in tennis history will meet for the 36th time in the round of 16 of ATP Wolrd Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells.

- Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) March 16, 2017Today I'm reminded of @andyroddick saying "I learnt a long time ago to stop being surprised by anything Roger Federer does".

Federer faced just one break point on his serve in the match, but he recovered with a big serve and two winning backhands to go up 2-0 in the first set.

In women's play, Elena Vesnina stunned second seed Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-3, spoiling the German's return to the top ranking next Monday. "So I'm going to try and get the most out of it".

Nadal admitted he was off his game and knew Federer was the better player.

A break in the first game of the match was enough to give Kyrgios the opening set. But then again, it helped me a lot with my slice and my forehand. I was beating myself down, and I just wasn't in a good place.

The 15th seed dispatched Horacio Zeballos, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the second round.

In a match involving the two lowest remaining men's seeds, No. 21 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain edged 27th-seeded Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-1, 3-6 7-6 (4).

Other reports by iNewsToday