Sports

Venus, Daria set up semifinal clash: Federer equals his season start feat

Venus, Daria set up semifinal clash: Federer equals his season start feat

Roger Federer pulled off an impressive fightback to post his career-best start to a season with a 5-7 7-6 6-4 victory over Borna Coric to reach the final of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

Daria Kasatkina upset Venus Williams 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a almost three-hour baseline struggle and Naomi Osaka routed top-ranked Simona Halep 6-3, 6-0 in 64 minutes on Friday night to set up a final between two 20-year-olds. This was the first match between Federer and Chung since the semi-finals of the Aussie Open when the Swiss was leading 6-1, 5-2 and Chung was forced to retire with a foot blister.

According to Christopher Clarey of the New York Times, the 20-time major champion was 15-0 in 2018 entering play Thursday, and 13 of those wins came in straight sets.

Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina defeated No. 31 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, and Milos Raonic beat 18th-seeded American Sam Querrey 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 to reach the men's semifinals.

Coric held steadily throughout the first set and broke Federer's serve in the eleventh game and held for to close out the set. "So I think that gives me a personal calm", Raonic said. "It also taught me a lot about what it means to face challenges, battle back, and overcome them", the 39-year-old added. "But I'm looking forward to winning my first [Masters] here", del Potro said.

Federer is 18-6 in his career against del Potro, with two of the losses coming at the U.S. Open , in the 2009 final and last year's quarterfinals.

Coric's crosscourt forehand was called out on match point. I thought he was going to drop, but he didn't.

"I played more aggressive with my two-handed backhands, and I played more down the line". Federer won 70 percent of his first serve points, had just one double fault and broke Chung's serve four times in the one hour, 23 minute main stadium match. And it showed as he sprayed errors all over the court and didn't break Coric for the first time until late in the second set.

But the world No. 26 is set to surpass Japan's Kei Nishikori, a rank above him, as the top Asian player in the ATP rankings. The 20-time major victor won the next four games to draw even at 5-7, 6-4.

"In one moment you just catch yourself, like, you're in night session, all crowd, you're playing against a legend, and you are in the third set", Kasatkina said.


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