Roger Federer ran his perfect 2018 record to 14-0 Monday by blasting Serb Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 6-1 to advance to the fourth round at Indian Wells.
Federer did drop serve early on in the lopsided match, but ended winning 10 of the last 11 games.
“I was playing aggressive and feeling like he was not loving my slice, and then also mixing in with drop shots eventually,” Federer said. ” I think really I was able to mix up my game nicely, make it difficult for him there.
Ahead for Federer on Wednesday is Frenchman Jeremy Chardy who beat countryman Adrian Mannarino. Federer is seeking a record sixth Indian Wells title.
“I wasn’t playing that good in my first round,” Federer said. “So when you play that way and you feel that way, you can’t right away think, ‘Oh, who would I be playing in the semis or in the finals’? I think that would be a major mistake by myself. There is still plenty of good enough players around me to cause an upset. So I’m on a good run right now, and I try to maintain that, and you only maintain that if you respect every opponent.”
Fourteen years Fernando Verdasco’s junior, Taylor Fritz continued his best Masters event. The American stunned the Spaniard 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(1). After dropping the second, Verdasco appeared to be the fresher of the two but just couldn’t break the 20-year-old. And it was Fritz, aided by a slew of Verdasco double faults, who won 7 of the 8 points in the breaker to reach his first career Masters fourth round.
“To pull out a match whenever it’s close like that can go either way. You’re nervous,” Fritz said. “It just makes the feeling even better when you win and to have the crowd supporting, as well. It’s like a dream.”
Fritz also improved to an incredible 11-1 in final set breakers in Challengers or ATP level events.
“I think it speaks to my strengths on court, which is just being clutch and playing my best tennis in the big moments. When it comes down to it like that, I don’t get too nervous,” Fritz said. “It’s probably the stat that I’m most proud about in my tennis career, is my third-set tie-break records. It shows that I’m clutch.”
Fritz will face Borna Coric. The 21-year-old Coric has been blistering all week, dropping just seven games in three matches including a 6-1, 6-3 rout over Roberto Bautista Agut.
“I was playing even better and better and today until 6-1, 3-0 – I was playing maybe the best tennis of my life,” Coric said. “I was just playing very aggressively, putting constant pressure on him, but at the same time I wasn’t making mistakes.
“There is no magic light. OK, I’m playing well here but it doesn’t mean I’m going to be Top 10 in a few months,” he added. “We need to work in three, four years to become a Top 10 tennis player, that’s my goal.
“I had very big success when I was very young. Also that time I was No. 33 but my game level was not there. If I see myself now to when I was 18 – when I was No.33 – you cannot compare the two players. I’m a much better player now.”
Kevin Anderson and Pablo Carreno Busta also advanced, as did Australian Open semifinalist Hyeon Chung who ousted Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-4.
Dominic Thiem had to retire to Pablo Cuevas down 6-3, 4-6, 2-4 in the third with a right foot injury. The Austrian rolled his right ankle in the first set. He also was fighting a bloody nose early on in the match.
On tap Tuesday, Juan Martin del Potro headlines against fellow vet David Ferrer. The two have split 12 meetings. . Marin Cilic, Jack Sock and Milos Raonic are also scheduled on the final day of the third round.
TUESDAY INDIAN WELLS SCHEDULE
STADIUM 1 Starts At 11:00 Am
4th Rd -1 Simona Halep VS Qiang Wang
3rd Rd -31 Philipp Kohlschreiber VS -2 Marin Cilic
3rd Rd -6 Juan Martin Del Potro VS -29 David Ferrer
4th Rd -8 Venus Williams VS -21 Anastasija Sevastova
Not Before 7:00 Pm
3rd Rd -8 Jack Sock VS -28 Feliciano Lopez
Not Before 8:30 Pm
4th Rd -7 Caroline Garcia VS -10 Angelique Kerber
STADIUM 2 Starts At 11:00 Am
3rd Rd Gael Monfils VS Pierre-Hugues Herbert
4th Rd (WC) Amanda Anisimova VS -5 Karolina Pliskova
3rd Rd -32 Milos Raonic VS Joao Sousa
3rd Rd (Q) Marcos Baghdatis VS (LL) Dudi Sela
Not Before 6:00 Pm
4th Rd -20 Daria Kasatkina VS -2 Caroline Wozniacki
2nd Rd -7 Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan VS Pablo Carreno Busta/David Marrero
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