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Indian Wells Tennis • Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer Continue To Cruise

Rafael Nadal of Spain in action against Filip Krajinovic of Serbia during the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 13 March 2019. The men's and women's final will be played, 17 March 2019. EPA-EFE/RAY ACEVEDO

By Ricky Dimon

 

There were still a couple of surprises at the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday. Lucky loser Miomir Kecmanovic is in the quarterfinals. So, too, is world No. 67 Hubert Hurkacz–who ousted Denis Shapovalov. John Isner lost in straight sets after dropping only nine total games in his first two matches in the desert.

 

For the most part, though, the drama cooled off like the weather did earlier in the tournament. And both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer continued to restore order to the otherwise unexpected proceedings in Indian Wells.

 

Nadal maintained his routine trek through the event with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Filip Krajinovic during fourth-round action on Wednesday. The second-seeded Spaniard served at just 56 percent, but he struck seven aces without double-faulting and won an amazing 83 percent of his second-serve points while advancing in one hour and 26 minutes of work.

 

“I probably played a little bit worse today than yesterday,” Nadal assessed. “Maybe because of the conditions; [it was] windier out there today. But in general terms, (it has) been a positive victory again. (I’m) happy the way I played.”

 

Roger Federer of Switzerland serves against Kyle Edmund of Great Britain during the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 13 March 2019. The men's and women's final will be played, 17 March 2019.  EPA-EFE/JOHN G. MABANGLO

Roger Federer of Switzerland serves against Kyle Edmund of Great Britain during the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 13 March 2019. The men’s and women’s final will be played, 17 March 2019. EPA-EFE/JOHN G. MABANGLO

Federer also improved to 6-0 in total sets through three matches, coasting past Kyle Edmund 6-1, 6-4 in their first-ever encounter. The world No. 4 fought off all seven of the break points he faced while firing eight aces without double-faulting.

 

“He didn’t have the best start, so that cost him the first set,” Federer commented in reference to the 23-year-old Brit. “Second set, it was definitely better. I think he probably struggled throughout a little bit; he never really got going. Conditions are tough with the glare, and the jump of the ball is sometimes hard to find the rhythm and timing.”

 

Next up for the 37-year-old Swiss is Hurkacz, a 22-year-old from Poland.

 

“I enjoy it,” Federer said of facing opponents for the first time. “Hurkacz, he’s also up and coming, so that’s fun. Kyle, the same thing. I have never played him before other than practice. It’s nice to see what they have in the matches and really get a sense how much more we will see of them. For me, at a top level, I like it that I’m not playing the same guys every single week.”

 

Editor’s note • both Rafa and Roger’s wins both were a little over an hour. 

 

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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