Roger Federer Survives Coric To Extend Unbeaten Run
Defending Champion Roger Federer produced an average performance but managed to survive a massive test against Borna Coric 5-7 6-4 6-4 to remain unbeaten for the season and reach the Indian Wells.
Both men started the match off well and completed quick service holds as the Croatian remained fearless and stuck to his gameplan. This paid off for the world number 48 as he kept up the pace with the defending champion and eventually broke for a 6-5 lead. The Croatian used his backhand to great effect and was very confident in his game as he was determined to test himself against the very best. He held his nerve to grab the first set 7-5 in 41 minutes.
The Croatian youngster didn’t stop there though as he continued to isolate Federer to the back of the court as he took his opportunity to break in the first game of the second set. Despite being frustrated and very erratic throughout the match, the world number one fought valiantly and eventually levelled the set up at 4-4. This new found ‘fight’ gave him variety and with that saw a run of four games, which ended with Federer taking the match into a decider as he took the second set 6-4.
The third set saw a share of breaks as both players looked tense in this epic battle as Federer looked to create more opportunities. As the set wore on, Coric started with one last push as he punished Federer with every backhand as he pinned the Swiss great to the corner of the court. The tactic worked as he gained the edge for a 4-3 lead and landed the first blow of the decider. However Federer jumped on Coric’s inexperience at this level and forced errors out of the Croatian as he reeled off three games in a row to grab the match and a place in Sunday’s final.
The win means Federer extends his unbeaten start to the season to 17-0 at the age of 36. An incredible feat despite his average tennis, he found a way to win like all great champions do. As for Coric he will learn from this, he was by far the better player and has the potential to be a future top 5 player.
Up next for Federer, Juan Martin Del Potro or Milos Raonic in the final. He will need to play much better than this but he will have something that money can’t buy and that is the knowledge and instincts of a champion. History awaits on Sunday.