Indian Wells 2017: Roger Federer sets up an all-Swiss final with Stan Wawrinka
Ninth seed Roger Federer staved off a late challenge from the 17th seeded Jack Sock, 6-1, 7-6(4) to enter the final of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California on Saturday.
The result set up an all-Swiss summit clash for the first time in the history of the tournament with the third seed Stan Wawrinka having reached the final earlier in the day from the other half of the draw. The US Open champion made short work of the 21st seeded Pablo Carreno Busta, 6-3, 6-2 in the other semi-final.
Federer did not face a single break point
Federer continued from where he had left it in the fourth round match. Sharp, aggressive and in mood to relent, the four-time Indian Wells champion was as dominant in the first set as he was in his immaculate 6-2, 6-3 win over his greatest nemesis Rafael Nadal.
It showed that Nick Kyrgios' walkover did not do anything to disrupt his rhythm, rather it only energized him more.
Federer came fast out of the blocks against Jack Sock, who, himself was on an inspired run after upsetting the World No. 5 Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals. But he was no match for the imperious Federer, who never took his foot off the pedal, leaving the American totally clueless about how to tackle the maestro.
Breaking his young opponent twice, the ninth seed grabbed the first set 6-1.
The 17th seeded Sock, however, did manage to do a much better job of weathering the storm in the second set. Despite pressure from the 18-time Grand Slam champion, the American never caved in on his service game. Sock even forced a deuce on the Federer serve in the eighth game of the set but his illustrious opponent got out of jail with a fabulous forehand and then held on for 4-4.
The set eventually headed to a tie-break where the American jumped ahead to 3-1. He could not hold on to his momentum and allowed Federer to come back. The Swiss did not need a second chance as Sock kept spraying his backhands. Federer ultimately finished the win in 1 hour 14 minutes to enter his seventh final in the Californian desert.
The former World No. 1 will be aiming to win a record fifth Indian Wells Masters title, an achievement that will tie him with Novak Djokovic.
Earlier, Stan Wawrinka needed just 1 hour 4 minutes to dismiss Pablo Carreno Busta. The US Open champion was on point right from the start of the match and broke the Spaniard thrice in this contest to make his maiden final at the inaugural Masters event of the season.