Monday, March 11, 2019

Nadal and Federer advance at Indian Wells

Nadal and Federer advance at Indian Wells

Rafael Nadal raced into the third round of the ATP Indian Wells Masters as Roger Federer made a less speedy but still successful start to his quest for a sixth title on Sunday.

Nadal needed just 72 minutes to get past overmatched Jared Donaldson, 6-1, 6-1.

Federer looked set for a similarly easy time of it, but had to turn back a second-set challenge from German Peter Gojowczyk in a 6-1, 7-5 win.

Federer said he was relieved not to go to a second-set tiebreaker after falling behind 3-1 to the free-swinging German, who is ranked 85th in the world.

The Swiss regained the break and, after saving four break points to make it 4-4, cruised home.

"I struggled a little bit with my serving in that second set and that gave him chances. Because he was serving better, he started to swing more freely and then it was tough," Federer said.

"I'm really happy I found a way in that second set."

Federer next faces compatriot Stan Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam champion currently unseeded as he continues his return from injury.

Wawrinka won a taut thriller against 29th-seeded Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, finally sealing it on his fifth match point after three hours and 24 minutes when Fucsovics lofted a lob long.

Nadal converted five of his six break chances against Donaldson and never faced a break point himself.

He next faces Diego Schwartzman, who beat Roberto Carballes, 6-3, 6-1. Nadal is 6-0 against the Argentine.

"Today was a very positive step for me, and the next one is going to be against a player that we know each other very well -- we practiced a lot of times, and we played some tough matches," Nadal said.

"It's going to be a tough one against Diego," he added, calling Schwartzman "one of the best talents of the sport today."

In other early matches, Kei Nishikori of Japan survived a scare in a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4) victory over Adrian Mannarino.

Mannarino served for the match at 6-5 in the third.

He couldn't muster a match point and double-faulted on break point, and that was enough of a window for Nishikori.

"I think in the tiebreak I played the best tennis of the match. I was really focused," said Nishikori.

Nishikori next faces Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, who defeated Lucas Pouille, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.

John Isner routed Alexei Popyrin, 6-0, 6-2, the most lopsided win of Isner's career.

He'll play Guido Pella, who beat Alex Bolt, 7-6 (7/5), 2-6, 6-3.

Marin Cilic downed Dusan Lajovic, 6-3, 6-4 to book a meeting with Denis Shapovalov, who beat Steve Johnson, 6-3, 6-4.

Article from AFP