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Rested Roger Federer Looking To Bounce Back in Miami From Indian Wells Final Loss

Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 18 March 2018. EPA-EFE/JOHN G. MABANGLO



By Ricky Dimon


There will be no Sunshine Double for Roger Federer in 2018 like there was last season.


Still, circumstances are not exactly dire for Federer these days. Far from it. Despite losing in the first leg of the Indian Wells-to-Miami stretch, the world No. 1 is a stellar 17-1 this year with titles at the Australian Open and in Rotterdam. He also reached the final in the desert and held three championship points before succumbing to a red-hot Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4, 6-7(8), 7-6(2).


Federer and Del Potro are on opposite sides of the Miami draw, as well, so another title tilt is possible.


“Ah, yes, I’m very excited about that finals,” Federer joked when asked during his pre-tournament press conference if he is looking for revenge against Del Potro in a potential Miami final. “No, we’re not there yet so we have plenty of time. My focus is the first round. Maybe he’s focusing about the finals; I’m not.”


The task currently at hand for Federer is a second-round showdown with Thanasi Kokkinakis on Saturday afternoon. It has already been a productive stay in Miami for the 21-year-old Australian, who is returning from multiple injuries and slowly making his way back at 175th in the world. Kokkinakis qualified for the main draw with straight-set wins over Thiago Monteiro and Taro Daniel before hammering fellow qualifier Calvin Hemery 6-1, 6-2 on Thursday. Unfortunately for the underdog, he has played only two matches against top 100 opponents in 2018 and has lost both of them in relatively routine style–against Daniil Medvedev at the Australian Open and against Feliciano Lopez in Acapulco.


Kokkinakis could be in for a long day at the office with an in-form and well-rested Federer on the other side of the net.


“(I’m) Feeling better today,” Federer said on Friday, referring to his recovery from the Indian Wells final–five full days off. “You know, it always takes a few days to recover from a busy and high-intensity weekend. Regardless of how difficult the match was physically, you still have a letdown emotionally, you know, because you’re drained from that perspective.


“Tuesday I had a busy day. I came to practice, but then [on Thursday] I had nothing going on. (I) went to the beach; went to the pool. And then today I had practice. So it’s been much slower. Slept a bunch. I feel much better today.”


Sounds like bad news for Kokkinakis!


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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