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Federer/Wawrinka Combine For Doubles Win; Dodig/Melo Advance

Indian Wells, U.S.A.

Federer, Wawrinka doubles© Getty ImagesRoger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka played in front of a sold out Stadium 2 court Friday afternoon.

It was standing room only on Stadium 2 Friday afternoon when Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka reunited as a doubles team for the first time in 18 months 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.

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

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.”

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First-time pairing Andy Murray and Jonathan Marray also played in front of a capacity crowd when they scraped past Juan Monaco and Gael Monfils 6-4, 4-6, 11-9.

Elsewhere at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, third seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo swept through a potentially tricky opener against Max Mirnyi and Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 6-2 in just one hour.

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