By Ros Satar, in Indian Wells

  • Roger Federer [1] def. Borna Coric 5-7 6-4 6-4
  • Juan Martin Del Potro [6] def. Milos Raonic [32] 6-2 6-3
  • Federer v Del Potro H2H: Federer leads 18-6
INDIAN WELLS, USA – The Men’s final is set between top seed and World No. 1 Roger Federer and an old foe Juan Martin Del Potro.

 

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Roger Federer – Path to the Final

Roger Federer in the fourth round of ther BNP Paribas Open, ATP Indian Wells 2018

Roger Federer in the fourth round of ther BNP Paribas Open, ATP Indian Wells 2018 | (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • R1: Bye
  • R2: Federico Delbonis 6-3 7-6(6)
  • R3: Filip Krajinovic 6-2 6-1
  • R4: Jeremy Chardy 7-5 6-4
  • QF: Hyeon Chung [23] 7-5 6-1
  • SF: Borna Coric 5-7 6-4 6-4

Is the dream year continuing? Or were there some signs of wear and tear as the rumours swirled for a back problem for Roger Federer as he was battling hard against Borna Coric. Either way it will be another tough fight.

Federer, who played Rotterdam and scooped the World No. 1 title during Rafael Nadal’s absence from the tour with a leg injury, and his position will be further consolidated with the news that Nadal is not now planning to return until the clay court season.

In all but one of his matches he has been pushed in at least one set with a tie-break or 7-5 score-line, and Coric was the first person to take a set off him this tournament. However if he is beginning to struggle, then perhaps battering against the Tower of Tandil is not the most relaxing way to spend a Sunday!

 

Juan Martin Del Potro – Path to the Final

Juan Martin Del Potro in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open, ATP Indian Wells 2018

Juan Martin Del Potro in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open, ATP Indian Wells 2018 | (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • R1: Bye
  • R2: Alex De Minaur 6-2 6-1
  • R3: David Ferrer [29] 6-4 7-6(3)
  • R4: Leonardo Mayer 3-6 7-6(2) 6-3
  • QF: Philipp Kohlschreiber 3-6 7-6(2) 6-3
  • SF: Milos Raonic 6-2 6-3

There are few people who would begrudge Juan Martin Del Potro the chance of winning his first <asters 1000 title, especially after all the injury trials he has been through. He has been pain free, but feeling the intensity of the last few weeks, coming into Indian Wells with a win (and a giant sombrero) in Acapulco. There is still the small question of Miami before the grind of the clay court season starts.

Arguably he has been tested more than Federer having to come back from a set down twice, but was in impressive form against Milos Raonic, who is still adjusting to his own comeback. Preserving a bit of energy might be the key for the rangy Argentine.

 

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The Match

Del Potro will look to get free points off his powerful serve and powerful ground-strokes – if he can keep Federer from dictating movement around the court and keep him pinned on the baseline, he stands a good chance for maybe moving in for either his slice backhand, or pulling Federer out of position to go for a favoured backhand winner.

Federer has the complete game of course, but as mentioned before the rumours of a back problem could mean his movement not being quite as sharp and fluid as we have come to expect.

Had this been the start of the season again, having seen the early form Federer was in, we might have been inclined to put this as a sure thing for the Swiss, and Del Potro has admitted that the unbeaten match play is beginning to catch up with him.

Prediction: Federer in three sets.

The BNP Paribas Open men’s final takes place not before 1pm (8pm GMT).

 

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