ROGER FEDERER NEWS
March 14, 2017 -- Indian Wells, California
Long hot days have set the stage at the BNP Paribas Open as Roger took to the courts in his 3rd round match in Indian Wells.
Playing steady and solid, he defeated American Stevie Johnson 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4) to set up his 36th meeting against Rafael Nadal.
In what will be a rematch of the 2017 Australian Open finals, the two will face each other in the Round of 16 Wednesday, March 15th not before 5pm PST. The last time these two rivals met this early in a draw goes back to 2004 in the Miami Masters.
"I think he's made me a better player," Roger said during the Australian Open earlier this year. "Because the way his game stacks up with me. It's a tricky one. I've said that openly. It remains for me the ultimate challenge to play against him."
Missed opportunities caused Roger a tough loss in Dubai in his Round of 16 match. Qualifier Evgeny Donskoy played some of the best tennis of his career as he fought off three match points to win in three sets 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(7).
Next up for Roger is the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells where fans are already excited to see their favorite Swiss back in action!
Everything came together Sunday night in Melbourne as Roger claimed his 18th Grand Slam title. After 5 grueling sets against Rafael Nadal, Roger was victorious and clinched his 5th Australian Open.
In his first tour-level event after a six-month injury lay-off, the Swiss Maestro seemed to be having a fateful fortnight in Melbourne which led to a final featuring an epic battle against good friend and long-time rival, Rafael Nadal. The match proved to be nothing short of thrilling as the two battled deep into the 5th set. Roger came through victorious with a final score of 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
“I’m out of words,” he said, after receiving the trophy from Rod Laver. “I'd like to congratulate Rafa on an amazing comeback. There are no draws in tennis, but I would have been very happy to accept one and share it with Rafa tonight. The comeback had been perfect as it was.”
This win puts Roger at 18 Grand Slam Titles and back into the Top 10.
Roger solidifies the fact that he is one of the greatest players of all time by becoming the first active player to win 200 matches against Top 10 opponents after beating Kei Nishikori in the 2017 Australian Open.
"It's great," he said following his victory over Nishikori. "I didn't know it going in. I just know I played a lot of tennis. Obviously I want to play really well against the best players. I was able to do that sometimes, but tonight was special, no doubt about it. Going five against Kei here on Rod Laver Arena with the comeback, it's definitely very special. A fitting way to celebrate that milestone."
Roger has defeated 41 different top 10 players including a long list of former World No. 1s.
Losing just ten games on Friday, Roger took out 10th seed, Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 at the Australian Open. He only needed 90 minutes to dispose of the Czech player and never allowed him to see a break point dropping just 14 points in 14 service games.
“It's just crazy how quick I got out of the blocks,” Federer said of his third-round display after his stuttering start to the Open. “That's what I was hoping for, because I wasn't able to do that in the first two matches. Today I was able to. What a difference it was in the feeling afterwards.
Next for Roger will be the 5th seed, Kei Nishikori, who struggled in his opening match in Melbourne but won 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to recieve his bid into the round of 16.