Experience leads Federer past Raonic

Experience won over youth on Tuesday night in Indian Wells, with 30-year-old Roger Federer coming back to defeat 21-year-old Milos Raonic 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4 for a place in the BNP Paribas Open fourth round.

“I guess my experience helped me to stay calm and just weather the storm,” said Federer. “Maybe if I would be younger I'd be more panicky about him hitting aces left and right and making me feel uncomfortable. I have been there so many times before against some of the all time great servers that it was obviously not going to happen tonight. I just hoped to stay calm.”

Raonic gained the upper hand in the first meeting between the pair, going up a mini-break 5-3 and holding his serve to clinch the tie-break, but Federer came back strong in the second set. The World No. 3 broke in the opening game and a second time to go up 4-1.

Federer lost only five points on serve in the decisive set, and converted on the only break point chance with a winner past Raonic in the seventh game, going on to clinch the victory after two hours and seven minutes.

“Even though I was down a set, I don't think I was playing poorly,” said Federer. “I might have missed one running forehand in the breaker, and that was about it. That cost me the set. That's just how it goes sometimes. I think my experience in this regard helped me a bit, but overall I think I just played a good match. My confidence got me through as well playing so many matches as of late. I think that was maybe the difference tonight.”

Federer has now 11 straight matches, and 35 of his last 37 since a loss in the US Open semi-finals.

He will attempt to extend his streak when he next meets unseeded Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci. The World No. 50 secured safe passage when former World No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko retired due to illness.

“Obviously it's a quick turn of events to go from night session to day session, from a righty to a lefty, from a big server to a baseliner,” assessed Federer. “I'm looking forward to that kind of a challenge. It's different. I hope to feel better again tomorrow so I will be able to last through long rallies.”

Date: 14.03.2012, Source: ATP


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