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Stan Wawrinka Gets Past Fucsovics, Showdown With Roger Federer Next • Indian Wells Tennis

Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland hits a volley against Marton Fucsovics of Hungry during the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 10 March 2019. The men's and women's final will be played, 17 March 2019. EPA-EFE/JOHN G. MABANGLO
Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland hits a volley against Marton Fucsovics of Hungry during the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 10 March 2019. The men’s and women’s final will be played, 17 March 2019. EPA-EFE/JOHN G. MABANGLO

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

A rematch of the 2017 Indian Wells Masters final between Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka will take place on Tuesday.

 

Making it a reality wasn’t easy. At least not for Wawrinka.

 

The 33-year-old survived a second-round thriller against Marton Fucsovics that lasted three hours and 24 minutes on Sunday night, triumphing 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-5. An unbelievable 48 break points were part of the epic saga, with Wawrinka converting six of 23 opportunities while Fucsovics capitalized on four of 25 chances.

 

Pretty much every service game in the final set was tough for Wawrinka, who failed to wrap things up at 5-4. But the three-time Grand Slam champion broke again at 5-5, after which he finally held off the 29th-seed Hungarian by holding a service game that featured multiple deuces and–it fitting fashion–multiple break points.

 

Wawrinka posted the following Twitter afterward: “What a night!! What a fight!!!”

 

Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Peter Gojowczyk of Germany during the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 10 March 2019. The men's and women's final will be played, 17 March 2019.  EPA-EFE/JOHN G. MABANGLO

Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Peter Gojowczyk of Germany during the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 10 March 2019. The men’s and women’s final will be played, 17 March 2019. EPA-EFE/JOHN G. MABANGLO

Wawrinka’s reward is a 25th career showdown against fellow Swiss Roger Federer, who is dominating the head-to-head series 21-3. Federer advanced through his Indian Wells opener in much more routine fashion, getting past Peter Gojowyczk 6-1, 7-5.

 

“For the first [match] I actually felt really good,” the 37-year-old said. “If I maybe would have served a little bit better, I think things would have gone faster. But at the end it was a tough second set, and it’s maybe exactly what I needed…. I think I played well in the first set and he didn’t, and then things go very quickly. The second set I think he saved some crucial break points with good serving. I think his serve really picked up. I’m really happy I found a way in that second set.”

 

Federer and Wawrinka have played only once since their 2017 tilt in the desert, with Federer prevailing in three sets in last summer’s Cincinnati Masters quarterfinals.

 

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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