While many among us were anticipating an all-Swiss quarter-final match-up, it will now be Kevin Anderson who will instead be standing across the net from four-time champion Roger Federer. The two will battle for a place in the BNP Paribas Open semi-final in what should be a fantastic match-up. This is the second time they meet on the professional tour, with the Federer vs Anderson head-to-head series standing at 1-0.
Federer advanced his head-to-head lead over Tommy Haas to 13-3 overall with a straightforward 6-4, 6-4 win on Wednesday evening. It was Federer’s 45th win at Indian Wells and extended his winning streak to nine matches. The win sets up a rematch against Anderson, whom he defeated in Paris last season.
South Africa’s Kevin Anderson became the first man to defeat Swiss No. 1 Stanislas Wawrinka in 2014, winning 7-6, 4-6, 6-1 in 2 hours and 19 minutes. Anderson hit 11 aces and 34 winners, but also managed 8 double faults and 40 unforced errors, which was evident in the second set when he allowed Wawrinka to recover and force a deciding set after being down 1-4. Even with the loss of focus in the second set, Anderson managed to regroup and storm into the quarter-final, where he will now meet another Swiss in Roger Federer. He also improved to a 14-4 record with his fifth career win against a Top 10 player.
“It wasn’t really on my mind that he had won Australia,” said Anderson. “Just focused on what I was doing… I knew it was a tough match today, and it feels great to beat somebody who obviously has just won a Grand Slam.”
This marks the second time they meet on the professional tour, with Federer winning their first encounter 6-4, 6-4 in Paris last year. Federer has the advantage in experience and court savvy but will need to remain focused to ensure that he does not fall to the big serves of Anderson. The South African is coming off strong showings in Delray Beach and Acapulco, and will be looking to take advantage of the momentum garnered from his victory over Wawrinka.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Three Sets