Locked back into the No.1 ranking going into Miami, Roger Federer can now focus on securing a record sixth title at Indian Wells. He plays the unseeded Borna Coric for a spot in the final where Juan Martin Del Potro or Milos Raonic await.
Hyeon Chung started off well against Federer in the quarter finals although he ended up going the same way as every other Federer opponent this year, eventually falling to a 7-5 6-1 defeat. It was Federer’s 16th straight win this year, matching his three slam 2006 season. “I’m happy I found a way. Started off really well, struggled afterwards, found my game back again and was able to protect it, saving big break points early on in the second set. I think that was the key to the match, those 10, 15 minutes where I broke at the end of the first and then saved break points early in the second,” Federer said. “I’m very happy. It was a good match. I played well.”
Coric’s comeback victory against Kevin Anderson added to an already great week for the Croatian, now in his first Masters 1000 final. However, he isn’t expecting his season to all be plain sailing from here. “It’s not a done job. I said many times, just because I play good now here, it has been a fantastic week for me, but again, you have another tournament next week,” Coric said. “The job is never done, in my opinion. I need to keep improving. I’m still very young… I need to work still a lot.”
Coaching stability appears to have done wonders for Coric and he mentions his improved mindset on court. “I’m much calmer on the court definitely now. I don’t get so excited. I don’t get so down. I don’t have these big [ups and downs]… I think that’s good. Because if I go too much up, again, it’s not good. If I go too down, it’s not good. I’m trying to be somewhere in between all the time.”
Federer may not be able to match his 6-2 6-1 win over an 18 year-old Coric in 2015 but remains the heavy favourite to advance and eventually take the title. The big stage will not startle his opponent however. “I love the big stage,” Coric said. “I love all the buzz. When these kinds of matches are [happening], I love it.”
Prediction – Roger Federer in straight sets