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Federer Races Into Fourth Round

Indian Wells, U.S.A.

Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer needed just 61 minutes to reach the fourth round.

Roger Federer wasted no time in booking his fourth-round spot at the BNP Paribas Open on Monday, dismissing Croatia’s Ivan Dodig 6-3, 6-1 in 61 minutes. The defending champion rallied from 0/40 down in the first game and never looked back, breaking serve four times and winning 82 per cent of points on his first serve.

"It was a tough day," said Federer. "Ivan played really well and I struggled early on in the first few games. Then I got a bit of a break at the end of the first set, started to play better. In the last couple of games Ivan didn't play so well and I was able to take advantage of it. It was a really good win for me."

The 31-year-old Federer has a 41-8 record at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, winning the title in 2004-’06 and again last year with victory over John Isner. He is bidding to win a record 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown.

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Federer is chasing his first ATP World Tour title since August, when he triumphed at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (d. Djokovic). This season he has been a semi-finalist at the Australian Open (l. to Murray) and Dubai (l. to Berdych) and reached the quarter-finals in Rotterdam (l. to Benneteau).

In the fourth round, Federer will face Swiss countryman Stanislas Wawrinka, who defeated two-time former Indian Wells champion Lleyton Hewitt 6-4, 7-5 in the last match of the day. The 18th-seeded Wawrinka let slip a break advantage in the second set, but broke Hewitt decisively in the 11th game before sealing victory in 84 minutes.

Federer has a commanding 12-1 lead over Wawrinka, with whom he won the doubles gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Wawrinka’s lone victory came on clay in Monte-Carlo four years ago.

Gilles Simon came back from the brink for the second match in a row, winning an all-French battle with Benoit Paire 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4. In a match featuring 14 breaks of serve, Paire served for the match at 6-5 in the second set, but was broken without holding match point. Simon then won the ensuing tie-break and broke serve at the start of the third set before closing out victory in two hours and 15 minutes. In his second-round match, Simon saved three match points to defeat Paolo Lorenzi.

Tenth seed Richard Gasquet set a fourth-round clash with sixth seed Tomas Berdych after dismissing Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz 6-1, 6-4 in 66 minutes. Gasquet won 76 per cent of his service points and broke serve three times.

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