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Roger Federer Beats Federico Delbonis in 2nd Round of Indian Wells 2018

Roger Federer Beats Federico Delbonis in 2nd Round of Indian Wells 2018

Sunday March 11th, 2018

Top-ranked Roger Federer's BNP Paribas Open title defense began successfully Sunday, as he defeated Federico Delbonis 6-3, 7-6 (6) in the second round of the tournament at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California.

The contest started on Saturday, although rain halted Federer's march into Round 3 and suspended the match for a day.

By virtue of the win, Federer moved on to the third round where he will face No. 25 Filip Krajinovic for a spot in the round of 16.

While Federer eventually made easy work of Delbonis, the match had the potential to be far trickier for Fed than it appeared on paper.

In their only previous meeting, Delbonis beat Federer on clay in 2013, which made him one of the few players with a winning record against the Swiss superstar.

The head-to-head mark between them is now even, as Federer dominated on the hardcourt.

After a brief rain delay, Federer raced out to a 3-1 lead, which included a break of Delbonis' serve that was aided by a monstrous backhand, as seen in this video courtesy of Tennis TV:

Federer increased the lead to 4-1 with a hold of serve, but Delbonis managed to extend the set with a couple of holds in his own right.

As Jose Morgado of Diario Record pointed out, Federer's success in the opening set was largely predicated on his volleying prowess:

Federer closed out the set on serve and pushed Delbonis to the brink of elimination in the process; however, he had to come back from a 15-40 deficit in order to do so.

In the second set, Federer and Delbonis traded holds to make it 2-2 before rain caused yet another delay. As Christopher Clarey of the New York Times noted, it was enough to end play for the day:

When play resumed Sunday, Federer and Delbonis traded holds of serve before going to a tiebreak.

Although Delbonis managed to hang with Fed and flirt with pushing the match into a decisive third set, Federer finally put him away 8-6 in the tiebreak:

In addition to playing well at the net, Federer's serving accuracy was the biggest difference maker in the match.

He put 65 percent of his first serves in play, while Delbonis was only able to get 46 percent of his first serves in the court.

Federer is a five-time winner of the BNP Paribas Open, which ties him with Novak Djokovic for the most of all time. After his showing on Saturday and Sunday, the world's No. 1 player is well on his way to becoming a six-time Indian Wells champion.

He still has a long road before getting to that point, though, and it will continue in the third round against an unfamiliar opponent.

Federer and Krajinovic have never faced each other, but based on the 20-time Grand Slam champion's history of success in the tournament, he has a significant leg up heading into the round of 32.

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Roger Federer Beats Federico Delbonis in 2nd Round of Indian Wells 2018 - Tennis News
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