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2019 BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells: Roger Federer vs Stan Wawrinka, Preview and Prediction

ANALYST
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1.72K   //    11 Mar 2019, 12:08 IST

Federer and Wawrinka at 2017 Australian Open - Day 11
Federer and Wawrinka at 2017 Australian Open - Day 11

In an all-Swiss third round match at 2019 Indian Wells Masters, twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer takes on three-time Slam champion Stan Wawrinka.

The two have met each other twenty-four times in the past, and the head to head record is pretty one-sided in favour of Federer, who has won twenty-one of those encounters. In fact, he has not lost a single match to Stan on hard and grass courts. All of Stan’s three wins have come on clay, the last of which was at the 2015 French Open quarter finals.

But that does not mean their non-clay matches have not been competitive. Stan has given his more illustrious compatriot a run for his money in many of those matches, only to come up short at the end.

This season, Wawrinka has made some decent progress after his long lay-off due to injury. Though he lost to Milos Raonic in the second round of the Australian Open, he avenged that loss by getting the better of the Canadian at Rotterdam. He reached his first ATP final in a long time there, losing to Gael Monfils in the summit clash.

He came to Indian Wells after a quarter final show at the Mexican Open at Acapulco, where he lost a tight three-setter to the eventual champion, Nick Kyrgios. At the BNP Paribas Open, he has not had it easy so far, but he has done enough against two good players to reach this far.

Wawrinka at 2019 BNP Paribas Open - Day 5
Wawrinka at 2019 BNP Paribas Open - Day 5

He came back from a set down against Dan Evans to triumph in three sets. Though he played a good match, his second serve was a cause for concern, as he could win only 49% of his second serve points.

This figure improved marginally in another three-set match against Marton Fucsovics, as he won 50% of his second serves. However, unlike his first match, he was able to keep 75% of his first serves in against Fucsovics.

Against Federer, he would either have to do better on second serve, or ensure that he keeps a majority of his first serves in. Feeder, on the other hand, has had to play only one match thus far after receiving a bye in the first round.

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His recent second set struggles were again on display in his match against Peter Gojowczyk. He won the first set comfortably, losing just a solitary game. But he allowed Gojowczyk into the match following a poor service game early in the second set.

It is to his credit that he got the break back soon and improved his game in the latter stages of the second set to close out the match in straight sets. But if Federer has a similar lack of focus against Wawrinka, he could potentially be in some strife.

Regardless, this promises to be a match for the connoisseurs, with two of the most watchable players gracing the tennis court.

Prediction: Roger Federer to win in 3 Sets

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