Federer survives scare to advance to Indian Wells final

FAN Editor
Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 11
Mar 15, 2018; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Roger Federer (SUI) in his quarterfinal match against Hyeon Chung (not pictured) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 17, 2018

(Reuters) – World number one Roger Federer survived a scare from unseeded Borna Coric to beat him 5-7 6-4 6-4 in the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals on Saturday and keep his bid for a record sixth Indian Wells title alive.

The crowd erupted when Federer broke Coric to love to take the deciding set and end the unexpectedly competitive two hour twenty minute battle against the 21-year-old Croatian on a windy morning in the California desert.

An upset was on the cards when the speedy Coric used his ferocious backhand to take the first set off the Swiss, the first time Federer had dropped a set at Indian Wells in nine matches.

He then broke Federer to start the second set and silence the stunned crowd.

But despite playing below his usual standards, the 20-times grand slam champion was able to eek out victory by finding his serving rhythm and winning the biggest points of the match as nerves finally caught up with Coric.

“Those 10 minutes when he was up a set and a break were tough for me to accept,” Federer said during an on-court interview.

“I had to move on with it and say that I was just happy to stay in the game. Maybe he’s going to get a bit nervous and I think that’s exactly what happened,” he said.

“And I got a bit lucky too of course. It was a good match and a tough one for him.”

With the win, the 36-year-old Federer improved to 17-0 for the year, his best ever start to a season.

Next up for the Swiss is Canadian Milos Raonic or Argentine Juan del Potro, who play their semi-final later on Saturday.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll, editing by Ed Osmond)

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