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Federer wins World Sportsman and Comeback of the Year at Laureus Awards

Roger Federer was honoured by the 2018 Laureus World Sports Awards, picking up the Sportsman of the Year and Comeback of the Year awards at the ceremony in Monaco.

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Federer cruises past Dimitrov to claim Rotterdam title

Roger Federer celebrated his return to the top of the world rankings with his second title of the season, swatting aside Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2 in the final of the ABN AMRO World Tournament in Rotterdam.

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Federer becomes oldest ATP World No.1

Roger Federer guaranteed his return to No.1 in the ATP Rankings after beating Dutchman Robin Haase 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 to reach the semi-finals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

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Federer beats Cilic to win 20th Grand Slam

Roger Federer added another chapter to his phenomenal career when the Swiss captured his 20th Grand Slam to retain his Australian Open title with a thrilling 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Marin Cilic in the final.

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Federer beats Del Potro for eighth Basel title

Roger Federer won his eighth Basel title, battling back to defeat the surging Juan Martin del Potro, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3 to clinch his ATP World Tour-leading seventh title of the year.

Federer beats Raonic for Stuttgart title, his 18th on grass

Roger Federer claimed his 98th tour-level title and 18th grass-court trophy, displayed his unrivalled superiority on grass with a 6-4, 7-6 (3) victory over Milos Raonic in the Mercedes Cup final in Stuttgart. He extending his grass-court winning streak to 16 matches dating back to victories at Halle and Wimbledon last year.

"I'm really happy. I thought it was a good final from my side. I think I played very well throughout the tournament, actually, having not played for a while. It's a great comeback for me," Federer said. "Maybe I was a little bit better on the bigger points. Of course I'm so happy to have won here, finally, in Stuttgart."

The 36-year-old, who was also victorious at the Australian Open and the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament earlier this year, has now earned three or more triumphs in 13 of the past 15 seasons. The Swiss is now 18-6 in grass-court finals, with all six of his losses coming against opponents who cracked the Top 2 of the ATP Rankings in their career.

By reaching the championship match in Stuttgart, Federer guaranteed that he will climb to World No. 1 in the ATP Rankings on Monday, doing so for the third time this season. He will need to retain his Halle title next week if he is to maintain the top spot ahead of Wimbledon. Federer now leads Raonic 11-3 in their ATP Head to Head series, and 4-1 on grass courts, winning his past five sets against the Canadian.

Federer dropped serve just twice en route to the title, holding on 48 of 50 attempts. He now holds a 168-24 (87.5%) tour-level record on grass. He is now 98-50 in tour-level finals. He has won 65 of those championship matches in straight sets.

Raonic entered the final having won all 41 of his service games in the tournament. But Federer wasted little time making his mark on that statistic, breaking at 1-1 in the opening set with an inside-out backhand return winner. There were no breaks of serve in the second set. And it was Federer who held firm under pressure. Raonic double-faulted to give Federer a 5/3 lead in the tie-break, and that was the only edge the Swiss needed.

It was not that Raonic played poorly. In fact, it was quite the opposite. The Canadian, who led the tournament by winning 70 per cent of his second serve points ahead of the final, won 72 per cent of his service points overall and faced just one break point. But on the biggest points, the Swiss was in control of the pace of play, either choosing to swoop into net for a putaway volley, or moving the 27-year-old around the baseline.

"I played great in the big moments," Federer said. "At the end, I played some of my best tennis. It's a great feeling."

Federer showed an astute use of tactics in his final service game before the second-set tie-break. The Canadian earned a 0/30 advantage, threatening to send the final to a deciding set. But Federer hit four consecutive serves to Raonic's forehand - three of which were first serves - capturing each of the points without a return coming back into the court. The 36-year-old served well all day, winning 86 per cent (38/44) of first-serve points. And while he hit only four aces, Federer kept his opponent off balance, holding to love four times.

"I had some chances today but couldn’t convert them. All in all it was very positive for me and I hope to keep that trend going," Raonic said. "I’m not far off from my best grass tennis. Maybe I’m lacking the confidence for the right decision still. I hit the ball well, my service is good. Maybe I need a few more matches to get the confidence to make the right decisions in a split second."

Date: 17 June 2018, Source: ATP and AFP

Federer beats Kyrgios to regain No.1 spot

Roger Federer will be back as World Number one in the new rankings next week after coming from behind to beat Nick Kyrgios 6-7 (2), 6-2, 7-6 (5) in the semi-finals of Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart.

"I'm very happy, very relieved. I thought it was a tough match like I expected against Nick. We've played so many tie-breaks already, I'm losing count," Federer said. "It was close. It could have gone either way, naturally. But I'm happy I got it and get back to World No. 1 next Monday, so it's very exciting. And I've got another final, so it's great news."

It is the Swiss’ first tournament in 11 weeks, going back to the Miami Open. A year ago, Federer lost in his opening-round match in Stuttgart after opting not to play during the clay-court season. But this time around, he is into the final. The 36-year-old arrived this week with a 2-2 record at the tournament.

Trailing Rafael Nadal by 100 points entering the week, Federer needed to reach at least the championship match to ensure he will climb to World No. 1 on 18 June. Otherwise, he would not have had  another opportunity to do so on the mown lawns, having won titles in Halle and Wimbledon last year. That means that Federer cannot gain any more points during the grass-court season after this week.

In February, Federer returned to World No. 1 for the first time since 4 November 2012, which is the longest gap between a player's stints atop the ATP Rankings. Federer, held the top spots for six weeks and then took it back from Nadal for one more week beginning on 14 May.

On Sunday, Federer will face a familiar foe in Milos Raonic as he attempts to lift his 98th tour-level trophy and 18th grass-court title. The 36-year-old leads the Canadian 10-3 in their ATP Head to Head series, which includes a 3-1 edge on grass.

"It would mean a lot to me to win Stuttgart, no doubt about it," Federer said. "I'm really excited to play Milos. He's in great shape again. It's nice for him, and I hope we can play another great match and I'm really excited to be in the final here."

Date: 16 June 2018, Source: ATP and Reuters

Federer makes winning return in Stuttgart

Wimbledon champion Roger Federer made a victorious return to action as he recovered from a set down to beat Germany's Mischa Zverev 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 at the Stuttgart Open on Wednesday.

The Swiss top seed, who skipped the entire European claycourt swing to concentrate on the grasscourt season, showed signs of rust early on against Zverev but it did not take too long for him to rediscover his rhythm.

“Three months is a long time, it's longer than the year-end break. So I'm very happy returning on good terms onto the Tour,” Federer said. “It was difficult, I missed some chances in the first set, played one bad service game and he connected well at the right times, and I got behind.

“And then I found a way, I found my rhythm. I'm very happy with how I played. I'm super happy to be back on Tour. It's been a great start.”

Federer can reclaim the No. 1 ATP Ranking from long-time rival Rafael Nadal with a run to the championship match in Stuttgart. The 36-year-old lost to Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis on 24 March during his opening match at the Miami Open.

The Swiss has long favoured the grass. Seventeen - nine at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle and eight at Wimbledon - of Federer's 97 tour-level titles have come on the surface, and he's won 87 per cent (165/189) of his grass-court matches.

Zverev, though, covered the net well and landed enough first serves to take advantage of a slow start from the Swiss. Federer had four break chances during Zverev's first three service games, but the German erased them all and then broke Federer to love in the eighth game. The German had never won a set against Federer in their five prior ATP Head to Head meetings, including three on grass, but he clinched the opener with a drop volley.

“It was difficult from the start. We both knew, going into the match, a passing shot here or there, or maybe a half volley, a return or a pick-up or something was going to make the difference,” said Federer. “I think maybe I just created a few more opportunities than he did. I was able to play better as the match went on and that is something I can really build on.”

Federer cranked it up a level in the second set, twice breaking Zverev to force the decider. Federer began to pick apart the lefty's serve-and-volley tactics even more in the third set, breaking again the fourth and eighth games.

“It feels good to win again. I've lost my last two matches,” said Federer, who lost to Juan Martin del Potro in the Indian Wells final before playing in Miami. “It's nice to get a fresh start here.”

The top seed had fallen to Tommy Haas in his Stuttgart opener last year. Federer will next meet Argentine Guido Pella or Indian Prajnesh Gunneswaran.

Date: 13 June 2018, Source: Reuters and ATP

Federer ready for return in Stuttgart grass

Roger Federer makes his long-awaited return to action this week at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, competing for the first time since Miami in March. And right away, there is a lot on the line for the Swiss. If the top seed reaches the final, he will regain the No. 1 spot in the ATP Rankings on 18 June.

“I think that’s a bit of extra motivation,” said Federer, who trails Nadal by 100 points. “But then again, having lost here last year in the first round, for me, it resets the goals as well, and just take it one at a time and don’t think too far ahead. Not that I did that last year, but on grass, margins are very slim. It’s not so simple, especially when you haven’t played in three months.”

Despite his reign of dominance on grass, posting an Open Era best 164-24 record (.872) in the ATP, he acknowledges the challenges that the ATP World Tour 250 event poses.

“It’s not always that easy, especially on grass,” Federer said ahead of the tournament. “The rallies are short, a few points decide them. It was like that two years ago against Dominic Thiem and last year I lost against Tommy Haas after having a match point.”

The World No. 2 is making his third straight tournament appearance, having reached the semi-finals in 2016 (l. to Thiem) and suffered a first-round exit in 2017 (l. to Haas). But he then went on to triumph at Halle and Wimbledon, building what would turn into a 16-match winning streak.

“I came back very strong and my reaction was very good after losing here against Tommy,” Federer said. “I didn’t drop a set for the rest of the grass-court season, which I was very happy about. So I just hope I can find my rhythm and range a bit earlier. But very excited to be here. I’m motivated because of all these reasons. It’s been a while, I haven’t played matches, so I’m happy. Obviously I don’t want to be on a three-match losing streak. I want to break that as well.”

“I’m back again and I’ll give my best to go deeper this year,” Federer added. “We will see how it goes in the first match. It’ll be my first match in three months, so I’m missing some match practice. I think the grass is better than in the past years. Let’s hope for some better weather.”

More than anything, Federer is excited to get back on the court for match action again. He will play Mischa Zverev, who he has beaten in all five of their previous ATP Head to Head meetings, on Wednesday.

“I’m fresh, I’m healthy,” Federer said. “That’s why I’m happy and confident to be here that things can turn out very well for me this week.”

Date: 11 June 2018, Source: ATP

Federer to skip 2018 clay season and French Open

Roger Federer knows better than anyone, at 36, it is as much about keeping a spark of motivation alive as it is about managing his body. Defeat then to the 175th-ranked Thanasi Kokkinakis in his opening match at the Miami Open, comes with a silver lining - the chance to rest and reinvigorate that hunger in time for the grass-court swing.

The loss prompted an announcement that, for the second consecutive year, he would skip the clay-court season, including Roland Garros. It proved a masterstroke in 2017 as he went on to claim a record eighth Wimbledon title.

Federer will hand over the No. 1 ATP Ranking to Rafael Nadal on April 2, having spent 309 weeks at the top during his career. That in itself presents a new goal for the season ahead - to reclaim his place at the top.

“Yeah, I decided not to play,” Federer said of the upcoming clay-court season. “I didn't play great last week either, I felt, overall. Nothing new, in my opinion. I'm trying to figure things out, so. I have time now.

“I'm a positive thinker. I feel like every match is another opportunity. Especially after losing one, clearly I'm down right now. I'm disappointed. I'm frustrated a little bit that I couldn't find a way. It's unfortunate how it goes.

“It's pretty simple at the end of the day. You go back to the practice court or go on vacation, you really take a break, get away from it all. When you come back to the practice court to work, whatever it is, you do it at 100 per cent.”

The 21-year-old Australian's 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory drew high praise from the Swiss. This was an opponent Federer had spent time training with at his Dubai base, a player who had endured more than his share of injury hurdles in his young career.

“Look, he's a cool guy, a cool demeanour,” Federer said. “He's been to Dubai to practise with me a couple of times. I knew him very well. We have worked very hard together. I've always liked his game.

“I'm happy for him that on the big stage he was able to show it, centre court, Miami, people watching, beating me. It's a big result for him in his career. I hope it's going to launch him, really getting his ranking up.”

Not since 2014 when he lost the Monte-Carlo final (l. to Wawrinka) and first round in Rome (l. to Chardy) had Federer fallen in back-to-back matches. Coming off a narrow defeat in the BNP Paribas Open final (l. to Del Potro), a match in which three championship points went begging, Federer admitted that he struggled to sink his teeth into his opening match in Miami.

Still there was plenty to be upbeat about. His semi-final victory over Borna Coric in Indian Wells gave Federer his best start to a season (17-0).

“Honestly, in the third set anything could have happened. I feel like I wasn't feeling good. The ball, I wasn't feeling. With my movement, things weren't absolutely working,” Federer said.

“I felt like the third set could be a tricky one, of course. I feel like every time I had chances, something bad happened for me, wrong decision making by me, good decision making by him. Who knows what happened. It just felt like I could be paying the price for opportunities missed.

“Look, it's disappointing. I don't know why I could never get to any level that I was happy with today. Sometimes you have these matches. Sometimes you find a way through. I just couldn't get it done today.

“He was just a bit better than me today. What exactly that was, I think you probably have to break it down to the key moments. He was a bit more relaxed. I was in search mode the whole match. I never got going.”

Date: 25 March 2018, Source: ATP

Federer reflects on losing championship points against Del Potro

Titles have never defined who Roger Federer is, although, if they did, they'd have a lot to say for him. The Swiss right-hander was three times a swing away from winning his 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown and his 98th tour-level title on Sunday against Juan Martin del Potro during the BNP Paribas Open final in Indian Wells. But Del Potro erased all three championship points and captured his maiden Masters 1000 title 6-4, 6-7 (8), 7-6 (2).

Federer, however, long ago learned to achieve contentment in life, despite some on-court disappointments here and there. The 36-year-old Swiss said he achieved such peace years ago, shortly after he began to make his mark on the ATP World Tour and at Grand Slam tournaments.

“I have been content for a long, long time on the Tour. I guess ever since I became world No. 1 back in 2004 and won Wimbledon in 2003, my life was complete as a tennis player. Those were my dreams as a little kid,” he said.

Federer said that's why he still enjoys most things about the tour life. “That's why retirement can wait, and I'm just really enjoying the ride. I'm really having a good time on the Tour,” Federer said.

It's easy to forget that Federer has had tough moments during his career, times that have taught him how to stay positive regardless of the outcome on the court. After falling to Del Potro in the season's first Masters 1000 final, Federer spoke at length about his attitude.

“I think staying positive through the tough moments is really key. Because you're always going to go through ups and downs in your career, or as a person for that matter. Not every day is sun shining. It's sometimes a bit of a struggle and important that you take the right decisions, you surround yourself with the right people, you're happy with what you have,” Federer said.

“Of course you can always try to want more and have more and everything, but you might never be happy when you search for things like this.”

Federer's outlook has helped him move on from losses. His 17-match win streak to start the 2018 season - the longest of his career to begin a year - was snapped against Del Potro. But the World No. 1 knows he won't have a lot of time to dwell on the match. The season's second Masters 1000 tournament, the Miami Open presented by Itau, starts on Wednesday. Federer is the defending champion there, too.

I feel frustrated, you know, that I let an opportunity like this go by. Serving 40/15, any game I probably win - I don't know what the stat is - 90-something per cent,” Federer said of his lead at 5-4 in the third set.

So it should sting, like you said, for a bit. The question is how long? It won't be long, but it's disappointing talking about a great match like this, losing, even though I was right there.

Obviously there is not too much time to dwell over it. Like I said, I'm happy for Juan Martin. It's a tough one. And I still had a good week here. I still see the positives at the end of the day.

It was a great match, honestly. Good fun. Good intensity. We enjoy that. And also it was tough and fair on the court. It was Juan Martin and myself. At the end you saw we are appreciative of the finals that we played against each other, which I think is really important for both of us.

Date: 19 March 2018, Source: ATP

Federer powers past Chung; Reaches Indian Wells SF

World No. 1 Roger Federer equalled his best start to a season to stay on course for a sixth Indian Wells title. Federer booked his semi-final spot and extended his season win streak to 16 straight matches with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over South Korea's Hyeon Chung on Thursday.

The last time Federer started 16-0 unbeaten streak was 12 years ago in 2006.

Switzerland's Federer recalls parts of that streak but not all the tournaments he played in to get there.

"Twelve years ago, a long time ago. I don't know. What was I doing back then?" he asked. "I don't even remember what tournament I played first up and won.

"I guess I had a similar good start to the year. Back then I was on this massive streak of winning 40-plus matches. It had already started the year before that, which this time it didn't. I had to get it going again in Australia.

"It's a great start. Hopefully I can do one more and beat my best streak on Saturday."

It was Federer's second win against the 21-year-old Chung this season, and they had a crowd of all-time greats watching. Tennis legends Rod Laver and Pete Sampras looked on, as did Bill Gates, Federer's philanthropic partner, and actor Will Ferrell.

Thursday's quarter-final was more competitive than Federer and Chung's Australian Open semi-final, which Chung aborted down 1-6, 2-5 because of blisters. But the reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion, like everyone else on the ATP World Tour this year, had no lasting answer for the five-time BNP Paribas Open champion, who improved to 11-1 in Indian Wells quarter-finals.

By making the semi-finals, the Swiss right-hander guaranteed himself another two weeks at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings and will extend his record reign to 308 weeks.

Federer will next meet Croatia's Borna Coric, who reached his maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final by beating Kevin Anderson of South Africa 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) earlier Thursday. Federer won their lone ATP Head to Head matchup, a 6-2, 6-1 rout at the 2015 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Federer, just as he had done in Melbourne, jumped out to an early lead against Chung, who was playing in his first Masters 1000 quarter-final. The top seed broke in the second game and led 3-0. But Chung grew more comfortable under the lights against Federer, and the South Korean broke back for 3-3.

From there, however, Federer didn't let up, mixing slice with power to break Chung in the 12th game and, in the second set, winning six of seven games to advance. The 36-year-old finished with 32 winners compared to eight from Chung.

"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 to 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."

The 21-year-old Chung was upbeat about his Indian Wells run. On Monday, he will become the highest-ranked Asian player in the ATP Rankings, surpassing Japan's Kei Nishikori. Chung is projected to rise to a new career-high of No. 23.

Date: 16 March 2018, Source: AFP and ATP

Federer breezes into quarters at Indian Wells

It was tighter than perhaps Roger Federer would have liked, but the No. 1 player in the ATP Rankings still pushed his way past the confident and big-hitting Jeremy Chardy on Wednesday, and is now only one win away from matching his best start ever.

The 36-year-old Swiss was untouchable on serve at the BNP Paribas Open, winning 90 per cent of his service points (44/49), including 100 per cent of his first-serve points (25/25), to beat Chardy 7-5, 6-4 in a packed Stadium One. It's only the fifth time Federer has won a match (not by retirement) without losing a first-serve point.

The five-time champion improved to 15-0 in 2018, with every match occurring on hard court. Even more remarkable, Federer has still lost only three sets this year (36-3 in sets).

If he can repeat his Australian Open semi-final victory and beat Hyeon Chung of South Korea in the Indian Wells quarter-finals, Federer will match his previous best start to a season, which came in 2006, when he was 24 years old (16-0).

It's been great. But, look, it's a totally different year, many years after,” Federer said. “Felt like I found my range, my rhythm early in the year. So many years I felt good actually in Australia already. I don't know if it's Australia per se or taking the benefits from the hard work I put in into the new season.

Then also Rotterdam was great. I was very happy that I was able to win the tournament there, not just get to the semis and get World No. 1. So that was nice.

And here now I'm relieved that I was able to win three matches already. Because in a big, tough draw like here at Indian Wells, you're never quite sure what to expect. So I'm just happy I'm on a good run.”

Chardy was loaded with confidence ahead of their fourth-round tangle. In his second-round match, the Frenchman had come back from a set and 4-1 down to beat Italian Fabio Fognini, and he used that momentum to achieve his best showing in Indian Wells.

But although Chardy played aggressively with his forehand and defended his serve well, erasing three of five break points, he could never find a way into Federer's service games. The top seed never faced a break point and broke exactly when he needed to - in the 11th game of the first set and in the ninth game in the second.

“You can't plan for these runs to happen. Either they happen or they don't. Sometimes you need a bit of luck to keep the runs going. And this year it's just been really good, solid matches,” Federer said. “We'll see how long it lasts really. This might be the last day. So we'll see. It's just how it goes. Don't jinx it.”

His next opponent, Chung, has continued his impressive start to the season. The reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion recorded his 15th win of the year by beating Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas 6-1, 6-3. Last year, Chung didn't reach 15 wins until the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Montreal in August.

Federer will go for win No. 61 at the BNP Paribas Open against Chung. He has now recorded 60 wins at six tournaments.

Federer is one victory away from guaranteeing that he will maintain his No. 1 spot in the ATP Rankings next Monday. If he loses against Chung, the Swiss will fall to No. 2 and Rafael Nadal will regain the top spot.

Date: 15 March 2018, Source: ATP

Federer cruises past Krajinovic at Indian Wells

World number one Roger Federer needed just 58 minutes to dispatch Filip Krajinovic at the BNP Paribas Open in California on Monday, mixing overpowering serves and pinpoint groundstrokes to advance to the fourth round of the tournament.

Playing for a third consecutive day due to weather delays in Indian Wells, the 36-year-old Swiss showed no sign of wear en route to a 6-2, 6-1 thrashing of the Serbian in the pair's first ever meeting.

Federer, who had looked slightly off his game in his rain-disrupted third round match against Federico Delbonis, was his dominant self on Monday, winning 89 percent of his first service points while cracking six aces to just one double fault.

Krajinovic had no answer for Federer's serve or relentless return game and ended up winning just 31 of the match's 93 points.

"I was playing aggressive and feeling like he was not loving my slice, and then also mixing in with drop shots eventually," Federer said.

"I think really I was able to mix up my game nicely, make it difficult for him there. At the same time, have fun with my game, play variation, but for the most part try to stay on the offensive, as well. I think it was a good match."

With rivals Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray electing not to enter the tournament, and Novak Djokovic, Kei Nishikori and Tomas Berdych are eliminated, the path appears clear for the Swiss to win a record sixth Indian Wells title.

Despite the promising outlook, Federer insisted he was taking it one match at a time.

"You can't really look ahead to semi-finals, finals and speculate about who you could play," he told reporters.

"I think that would be a mistake. I am on a good run right now and I want to maintain that. I have to stay sharp."

Next up for Federer is a meeting on Wednesday with France's Jeremy Chardy, who upset his countryman Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 earlier on Monday.

Federer holds a 3-1 ATP Head to Head series edge against Chardy, with three of their four meetings having come at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level. The Frenchman's lone victory came on red clay at 2014 Rome in a match that went to a third-set tie-break.

If Federer should continue his run of good form and advance to the final at Indian Wells again, it will be his fourth consecutive appearance in the title match (2014, 2015, 2017).

Date: 13 March 2018, Source: Reuters and ATP

Federer opens his bid for 6th Indian Wells title

In his first tournament since returning to the top spot of the ATP Rankings, Roger Federer overcame a spirited effort from Argentina's Federico Delbonis to advance to the third round at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.

Federer prevailed 6-3, 7-6 (6) in a match that was carried over from Saturday evening due to rain. Four games were played in the second set when the skies opened at 10:30 PM local time. Upon resumption on Sunday, Delbonis did well to force a tie-break, but Federer was too strong in the end. He closed out the win after one hour and 41 minutes, saving all three break points faced.

It was the Basel native's 450th match at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level, improving to 351-99. Making his 17th appearance in Indian Wells, he kicked off his bid for a sixth tournament title.

"It is interesting, when you go from night to day and you know there is a difference," said Federer. "So naturally it's all a change. Here now you play the same guy the next day, so you can really compare how different conditions are. It was actually quite interesting.

"They play very different. In the nighttime, the ball is much more deader. The surface doesn't react so much. The ball doesn't travel so fast. Even though I served my five aces yesterday, I hit none today. So talking about faster, I just think there is more bounce to it, especially if you play someone who has a lot of spin like he has and kicks the ball around a lot. It's been a long time since I have been interrupted at night and have to come back the next day."

Delbonis entered the encounter with hopes of springing the upset,  having claimed their lone previous encounter in Hamburg in 2013, but that was quickly quashed by the top seed. Federer, who returned to World No. 1 at the ATP World Tour 500 event in Rotterdam last month, is assured of remaining at the pinnacle of the ATP Rankings should he reach the semi-finals in Indian Wells.

Federer remains ruthless in 2018, extending his win streak to 13 straight since the start of the season. Champion at the Australian Open and ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, he has dropped only three sets from 35 played this year.

Still looking to adjust to the high-bouncing conditions in the desert, Federer will look to improve on his 40 unforced errors when he faces 25th-seed Filip Krajinovic in the third round. It will be their first meeting. Krajinovic, who reached the final at the Rolex Paris Masters last year, defeated American qualifier Mitchell Krueger 6-2, 6-2 on Saturday.

Date: 12 March 2018, Source: ATP