Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Roger Federer beat Milos Raonic 6-7 6-2 6-4 to advance to the fourth round at Indian Wells.
In the opening set, Federer was stunned by Raonic’s power serving but then he was able to deliver a master class to his young opponent and closed the win in just over two hours.
Federer will next face Thomaz Bellucci, who advanced without playing when Nikolay Davydenko withdrew due to illness.
“For me it was a difficult match,” Federer said. “He’s probably seen me play a whole lot of times on TV which helps him out a bit. But I really did well. I hung in there and played a great second set.
“The third set was close and I’m happy to be moving on in the tournament,” he added.
The opening set went with serve and into a tiebreak that Raonic won 7-4 when Federer hit a forehand service return long.
The former Indian Wells champion broke early in the second set and again in the fifth game to go 4-1 up. He then served out the set to level the match at one-set all.
In the decider Federer broke when he passed Raonic with a crunching backhand winner down the line to lead 3-4.
The Swiss served out to seal the win, wrapping up victory on his first match point.
“I was getting to the ball often in the beginning but just not making the plays,” said Federer. “That was hurting me. Then I was able to improve, and once I got that going maybe his serving also just dropped a tiny bit and gave me more opportunities on his second serves.”
“He serves really well and hes going to be for sure a future top-10 player, and a whole lot better,” He said. “He did very well tonight under pressure.”
Raonic enjoyed the experience of playing Federer.
“I felt at the beginning maybe I just went for a little too much, didn't play within myself,” said Raonic. “I think I caught on to that pretty early and calmed down and did the right things. I think it just came down to a few poorly executed plays as well. I think I hit the ball well. I just was picking the wrong shot, and this is what makes the difference, but with experience hopefully I catch on to that.”
“There were a few things I could have done better, but I was there competing against someone people say is the greatest player of all time,” he said.
“So that’s definitely a positive, and it’s something to build off of.
“I did a few things well in the first set. After that, he just picked it up on the return. I don’t think I served as well after, either. It was just a bit of a mix on that … and he then just put pressure on me.”
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