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Roger Federer Soars Into Indian Wells Round of 16

Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Federico Delbonis of Argentina during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA,11 March 2018. The match resumed play after it was suspended due to rain on 10 March 2018. EPA-EFE/JOHN G. MABANGLO



INDIAN WELLS—Home-schooling their two sets of twins enables the Federer family to travel together.


Life is a learning experience and today the world No. 1 delivered a tennis tutorial on expediency.


Deploying the full shot spectrum, Roger Federer schooled Filip Krajinovic, 6-2, 6-1, in 58 minutes soaring into the BNP Paribas Open round of 16.


Mixing forehand drives down the line with some deceptive drop shots and the occasional forward charge, Federer confounded the 25th-seeded Serbian with an all-court attack Krajinovic could not read while enjoying himself in the process.


“I was playing aggressive and feeling like he was not loving my slice and then also mixing in with drop shots eventually,” Federer said. “I think really I was able to mix up my game nicely, make it difficult for him there. At the same time, have fun with my game, play variation, but for the most part try to stay on the offensive, as well. I think it was a good match.”


Playing for the third consecutive day, the reigning champion raised his 2018 record to 14-0 while improving to 59-11 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.


The five-time champion saved a set point completing his rain-delayed win over Argentine left-hander Federico Delbonis yesterday.


Today, Federer flirted with the lines on serve winning 24 of 27 first-serve points and playing first-strike tennis for much of the match.


“I’m very happy how I managed it,” said Federer, who played five matches in a row when he regained the world No. 1 ranking in Rotterdam last month. “I was a little bit tired this morning just because the turnaround is always pretty quick. And this morning, I mean, playing at 1:00 is somewhat on the earlier side for me, too.


“But I’m happy that I actually was explosive out there today and I felt good. So I’m very happy how things are turning out to be.”


Federer’s parents, Lynette and Robert, wearing an “RF” baseball cap, watched the proceedings from the front row while wife Mirka and the couple’s twins stayed beneath the shade of the luxury suites.


Krajinovic is a capable baseliner, whose serve and two-handed backhand are weapons he wielded effectively reaching the Marseille quarterfinals and Dubai semifinals last month.


Reigning champion Federer displaced the 26-year-old Serbian out of his comfort zone on the baseline and dragged him around the court breezing through eight of the first 11 points to burst out to a 2-0 lead after five minutes. Krajinovic broke back in the third game then backed up the break to level, but that was really the Serbian’s last stand.


Anticipation, accuracy and the ability to shift spins and speeds into disorientating combinations empowered Federer to quickly widen the gap.


The top seed surged through seven consecutive games turning a 2-2 deadlock into a commanding 6-2, 3-0 chasm.


Exploiting his opponent’s deep court positioning, Federer deadened successive superb drop shots cruising through his second love hold for 5-2. Even when missing a serve, Federer entertained sliding a dropper slathered with such spin the ball bounced over the net and dance back on his side eliciting a spike of approval from the crowd.


By then, Krajinovic was shaking his head like a man realizing he was the punch line for Federer’s audacious shot-making spectacle.


When Krajinovic tried dispensing a dose of the top seed’s own medicine back to him with a drop shot of his own, Federer swooped forward, fired a forehand winner down the line to break at love snatching a one-set lead after 31 minutes.


Wrapping a pair of convincing love holds around a break, Federer seized a 3-0 lead minutes into the second set.


The world No. 1 wrapped up a commanding victory cruising into the round of 16 for the 13th time.


Continuing his quest for his 98th career title, Federer will face Jeremy Chardy for a trip to the quarterfinals.


In an all-French encounter, Chardy continued his dominance of 20th-seeded Adrian Mannarino, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.


The lanky Chardy lashed 11 aces defeating the left-handed Mannarino for the fourth time in as many meetings.


The 36-year-old Federer has won three of four meetings with Chardy, but they’ve been tight tests.


Fellow five-time champion Novak Djokovic was bounced from his opener yesterday prior to Federer wrapping up his opening-round win. Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have combined to capture 13 of the last 14 Indian Wells titles with only 2010 champion Ivan Ljubicic, now Federer’s coach, breaking that dominance.


Asked if he misses or relishes his rivals absence from the field, Federer replied “a bit of both.”


“Many times I have looked at the draw and, Oh, God, Rafa, is my second round or something. So I prefer if Rafa is not in my second round,” said Federer, who defeated Nadal at both Indian Wells and Miami last year. “At the same time, I enjoy playing the guy, just because it’s one of the ultimate challenges to play Novak, Andy, Rafa, Stan, you name it, all these guys.


“But of course there is a different vibe when all these guys are not around. It’s not in your control. You can only beat the guy who’s opposite to you. When I look at the matches from last night or yesterday, they’re all in the other section, so I can watch it more as a fan, you know, which I enjoy a lot, to be honest.”

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