Tournament favorites Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal began their march to a semifinal showdown Sunday at Indian Wells.
The 5-time champion Federer looked good early on against Peter Gojowczyk 6-1, 7-5. The German was up on Federer 3-1 in the second and held more break chances later, but Federer hung on to win in straights.
“For the first round I actually felt really good. If I maybe would have served a little bit better, I think things would have gone faster,” Federer said. “But at the end it was a tough second set, and it’s maybe exactly what I needed.
“I think I played well in the first set and he didn’t, and then things go very quickly. The second set I think he saved some crucial break points with good serving. I think his serve really picked up,” Federer said. “I’m really happy I found a way in that second set.”
On Tuesday, Federer will now face friend and countryman Stan Wawrinka who outlasted Marton Fucsovics 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-5 in a grueling 3 hours, 24 minutes.
Nadal was on in the evening and crushed American Jared Donaldson 6-1, 6-1 in just 72 minutes.
“I always have good feelings on that court,” said Nadal. “I’ve played a lot of good tournaments here. And I really enjoy playing here. I always felt great. It’s an event that is a little bit different, because normally big events are in big cities. For the players, the organisation of this event is just fantastic. The work that they are doing is just amazing, the past couple of years. Larry Ellison and all his team is doing a great job.”
Next for Rafa is Diego Schwartzman who dropped just four games in a 6-3, 6-1 victory over another Spanaird, Roberto Carballes Baena.
Kei Nishikori needed a final set breaker to put away the tricky Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(4).
Denis Shapovalov made it three Canadians in the third round after he beat Steve Johnson. Big men Marin Cilic, John Isner, Karen Khachanov, Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev also were winners.
Monday will see the return of 5-time winner Novak Djokovic who meets German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber for a 10th time, he leads 8-1 in their head-to-head.
Alexander Zverev faces countryman Jan-Lennard Struff and Milos Raonic meets former UCLA Bruin Marcus Giron. Raonic’s countryman Felix Auger-Aliassime is also in action along with Frenchmen Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils.
MONDAY INDIAN WELLS SCHEDULE
Stadium 1 11:00 Am
3rd Rd (Q) Marcos Giron v 13 Milos Raonic
3rd Rd 3 Alexander Zverev v Jan-Lennard Struff
3rd Rd Venus Williams v (Q) Christina Mchale
Not Before 6:00 Pm
3rd Rd 1 Naomi Osaka v 25 Danielle Collins
Not Before 8:00 Pm
3rd Rd 1 Novak Djokovic v Philipp Kohlschreiber
STADIUM 2 11:00 Am
3rd Rd (Q) Natalia Vikhlyantseva v 8 Angelique Kerber
Not Before 12:30 Pm
3rd Rd 9 Aryna Sabalenka v 24 Lesia Tsurenko
3rd Rd 18 Gael Monfils v Albert Ramos-Vinolas
3rd Rd (WC) Felix Auger-Aliassime v Yoshihito Nishioka
Not Before 6:00 Pm
2nd Rd Dominic Inglot-Franko Skugor v 4 Bob Bryan-Mike Bryan
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