Roger Federer takes the stage tonight at Indian Wells. The Swiss is 12-0 on the season and is seeking a record sixth Indian Wells title. He’ll open against Federico Delbonis who beat Federer in their only meeting in Hamburg in 2013.
“You always have [something to prove]. As much as I’d like to tell you, ‘Yeah, it doesn’t matter how I play here’, I didn’t come here to lose in the first round,” Federer said. “You care about that moment, about the fans, and how they portray you. You care for the result; you care for so many things. As little pressure as there seems to be, there is always pressure on the top guys. You’re always at the center of attention and expectations are there.”
“I’m definitely in a good place. I feel like I have less to prove today than in the past, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want it badly. I need to have that drive to be successful.”
But before the vet takes the court, a pair of future stars impressed yesterday at the first Masters event.
Australian phenom Alex De Minaur continued his break out season taking down Jan-Lennard Struff 3-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(5) to collect his first career Masters win. The 19-year-old moves on to face Juan Martin del Potro tomorrow.
“After pretty much every point you’ve got to regroup,” De Minaur said. “Whether it goes well, whether it goes badly, you can’t dwell on the past. You’ve got to move on. The quicker you move on, the quicker you can get back on what you want to do. And that’s playing tennis and playing well.
“That’s what I think about every time I go out there on court, to leave it all out there, every point. No matter the result and no matter how I’m playing or whatever happens, you know, just to go out there and give 150 percent.”
17-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime picked up his first career Tour level victory knocking out Canadian countryman Vasek Pospisil 6-2, 7-6(4).
“I think I played great in the first. Came in pretty pumped and was playing well, aggressive, serving well,” Auger-Aliassime said. “In the second, for some reason I kind of got nervous and I was seeing maybe the finish line.
“So I tried take my time on the serve, stay calm. Then got a few clutch points with my serve not to get broken in the second. And played really well in the tie-break, so that was probably the key moment of the match.”
The task gets tougher in the next round for “FAA” who will meet Canadian king Milos Raonic.
“It’s exciting to see someone I have looked up to growing up. I’ll try to do everything I can to return the serve and hang in there. It’s quite exciting,” the teen said.
Also on Friday, Gael Monfils, Mischa Zverev were winners and Ernesto Escobedo toppled Delray champ Frances Tiafoe.
Saturday seeds action from the seeds including Federer, Grigor Dimitrov and Dominic Thiem who challenges Stefano Tsitsipas.
SATURDAY INDIAN WELLS SCHEDULE
STADIUM 1 Starts At 11:00 Am
2nd Rd Stefanos Tsitsipas VS -5 Dominic Thiem
2nd Rd -8 Venus Williams VS Sorana Cirstea
2nd Rd Serena Williams VS -29 Kiki Bertens
2nd Rd -3 Grigor Dimitrov VS Fernando Verdasco
Not Before 7:00 Pm
2nd Rd -1 Roger Federer VS Federico Delbonis
Not Before 8:30 Pm
2nd Rd -13 Sloane Stephens VS (WC) Victoria Azarenka
STADIUM 2 Starts At 11:00 Am
2nd Rd -12 Tomas Berdych VS Maximilian Marterer
2nd Rd -30 Pablo Cuevas VS Denis Shapovalov
2nd Rd Taylor Fritz VS -27 Andrey Rublev
Not Before 4:00 Pm
2nd Rd (Q) Lara Arruabarrena VS -2 Caroline Wozniacki
Not Before 6:00 Pm
1st Rd -7 Bob BryanMike Bryan VS Alexander ZverevMischa Zverev
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