Federer and Wawrinka advance in doubles

It was standing room only on Stadium 2 Friday afternoon when Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka reunited as a doubles team to defeat sixth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 6-2, 6-7(4), 10-6 at the BNP Paribas Open.

Federer and Wawrinka, who won the 2008 Beijing Olympics doubles gold medal for Switzerland, reached the 2011 Indian Wells final (l. to Dolgopolov/Malisse). The duo had not teamed up since a Davis Cup tie versus The Netherlands in September 2012.

Bopanna and Qureshi drop to a 10-5 match record this season. Six days ago, the ‘Indo-Pak Express’ lifted the Dubai trophy (d. Nestor-Zimonjic) and Federer picked up his sixth crown (d. Berdych) at the event.

Federer, the seventh seed, opens his campaign for a fifth Indian Wells singles title against Paul-Henri Mathieu in the second round, while third seed Wawrinka plays Ivo Karlovic. Wawrinka is playing in his first ATP World Tour tournament since lifting the Australian Open trophy in January.

"We are very happy to have won today, and give ourselves another match in a couple of days," said Federer.

"I don't know if it was sold out, but it felt like very, very full. You're not probably going to achieve that on center court (where capacity is 16,100) for a doubles. But that was a perfect setup, a feeling, and we can thank the tournament and (owner) Larry Ellison for building such a court so quickly," said Federer.

"It's nice to see the game grow and seeing people coming out and enjoying it. It's great. I really had a great time out there with Stan today."

Wawrinka, who admitted he did not train for "maybe 10 days, 15 days," until last week, said, "I am really looking forward to my match tomorrow and for the rest of the season… It's really important that I keep trying to improve. It took me time to really realise what I did in Australian Open."

"Still when I'm saying that I won a Grand Slam it's still strange for me, but that's why it was good to be home during three weeks," Wawrinka said. "It was good to be with the family, to take more time for myself."

Wawrinka, who won his maiden grand slam in Melbourne in January, was asked how it felt to be not only the world No.3, but the Swiss No.1.

"It's not the first time I have been asked that question," he joked. "But Roger is the greatest player of all time, so it doesn't matter."

Wawrinka is the No. 3 seed and could meet No. 7 Federer in the quarterfinals and top-seeded Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.

Date: 8th March 2014, Source: ATP and AP


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