Federer wins at Indian Wells, sets up rematch with Chung
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 15, 2018 09:16 AM
Roger Federer, of Switzerland, returns a shot to Jeremy Chardy, of France, during the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Wednesday, March 14, 2018, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
By Beth Harris, Associated Press
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Roger Federer defeated Jeremy Chardy of France 7-5, 6-4 in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday, and at 15-0 the world's top-ranked men's player is off to his best start since 2006.
The 36-year-old Swiss superstar can equal his season-best start of 16-0 with a win in the quarterfinals, where he will meet Chung Hyeon of South Korea in a rematch of their Australian Open semifinal.
Federer advanced to the final in Melbourne when Chung retired in the second set trailing 6-1, 5-2, and went on to win a five-set final against Marin Cilic.
Chung, seeded 23rd at Indian Wells, beat 30th-seeded Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-1, 6-3.
Since his Grand Slam breakthrough Down Under, Chung has been on a roll. He's reached the quarterfinals or better in four of five tournaments and improved to 15-5 this year.
Federer is chasing a record sixth title in the desert.
"Just playing really fast and good serve, good baseline," Chung said of Federer. "He play everything good, so I'm just trying to enjoy on the court."
Against Federer, Chardy played a tough first set in windy conditions that persisted throughout the day. Federer earned the only break in the 11th game and then served a love game to take the set.
Federer again took the only break in the second set to go up 5-4. His forehand pulled Chardy completely off the court and Federer hit a crosscourt backhand winner off Chardy's return. Federer served his fifth love game of the match to close it out.
Chardy committed 46 unforced errors to 29 for Federer, who won 90 percent of his total service points.
Against Cuevas, Chung dominated in racing to a 6-1, 5-0 lead before Cuevas fought off seven match points to break back in the sixth game. Cuevas then broke Chung again to close to 5-3, but the Korean closed out the win.
"It was a really tough match against Pablo," Chung said. "I have few match points but start (getting) windy and he playing good. Not easy to play with the wind, but I'm just trying to focus all the time."