Federer battles into last eight at Indian Wells

Defending champion Roger Federer rallied for a 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-5 victory over Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open.

Federer, a four-times champion at Indian Wells, appeared to be in cruise control when serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set but was broken to love before his opponent went on to clinch the tiebreak 7-4.

Wawrinka led 2-1 with a break in the third set, but could not consolidate and Federer ultimately got the decisive break in the 12th game.

"I definitely got a bit lucky here tonight," Federer said courtside after coming out on top of a fluctuating contest lasting two hours 20 minutes.

"But I'm very happy to come through against Stan, who is a very good friend of mine."

Federer improved to 13-1 against the 18th-seeded Wawrinka, who was broken twice in the final set played in front of tennis great Rod Laver.

Federer has won 29 of 34 sets in their 15 career matches, with Wawrinka's lone win coming four years ago on clay in Monte Carlo.

Federer next plays either No. 5 Rafael Nadal or Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis, who followed him under the lights on stadium court.

Date: 14th March 2013, Source: AP and Reuters


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