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News Worms


Roger Federer v Stan Wawrinka classics ahead of Indian Wells final

Roger Federer v Stan Wawrinka classics ahead of Indian Wells final

Less than two months after claiming the 18th grand slam title of his career at the Australian Open, ninth seed Federer delivered another virtuoso performance, claiming a 6-1 7-6 (4) victory over Sock without facing a break point.

Federer, who blitzed old foe Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-3 in the fourth round, was well rested for the semifinal after Aussie Nick Kyrgios pulled out of their last-eight showdown due to illness.

Federer needed only 21 minutes to break Sock's serve twice and win the first set of their semifinal Saturday at the BNP Paribas Open.

Three-time Grand Slam victor Wawrinka, 31, will be playing his first Indian Wells final, having lost in last year's semi-finals. Wawrinka has been strongly tested and taken to three sets by Dominic Thiem and Yoshihito Nishioka, but his best game was against Pablo Carreno Busta, demolishing him in straight sets.

The next time Roger Federer faces Jack Sock - and surely they will play each other in many prestigious tournaments in the coming years - their match might be suspenseful. But the 18-time Grand Slam victor has backed the Scot, who has pulled out of the Miami Masters next week with injury and world number two Novak Djokovic, who is having a bad run of form, to come back to their best level and start winning tournaments again.

Jack Sock, No. 17 in the world, beat Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-2, 2-6 and 2-6 and gave a cheer to American fans of Indian Wells.

"It's an awesome result to be in the final here, especially in Indian Wells, one of the best Masters 1000", Wawrinka said in his post-match interview. "Whatever happens, it's been an incredibly good year for me already so hopefully I can play with less pressure, more freedom".

Federer consolidated with an easy hold, and broke again courtesy of a volley victor, a backhand return of serve victor and a final forehand. "After a restless night of being sick, I have nothing left and to play a great champion like Roger, I need to be at my best to have a chance". "I'm happy it was there because I didn't serve particularly well in that second set".

While Nishikori played better in the second to level the match, he dropped the first game of the third set to again concede the advantage.

Federer has a 19-3 edge in career head-to-head matches against Wawrinka, including a five-set victory in the Australian Open semifinals this year. "But on the flip side of that, I am playing confident tennis as well myself".

As for Sock, like Carreno Busta, he too showed signs this week of becoming a Top 10 threat.

A year ago, Federer wasn't in Indian Wells because he was recovering from a knee injury that ruined his entire season. The two Swiss have met 22 times before, and all three of Wawrinka's wins have come on clay. "It was warm and I very quickly took decision the not to play, It hurt, but it makes me even more excited to play this year".

Sock finally got some forehands which he fired to Federer's backhand, and he began to dictate...a little. But Wawrinka's mental toughness can never be underestimated, as both Djokovic and Nadal have found out in grand slam finals.

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