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Anderson Sets Federer Clash After Ending Wawrinka's Perfect Season

Indian Wells, U.S.A.

Anderson© Getty ImagesKevin Anderson reaches the quarter-finals for the first time in Indian Wells.

South African Kevin Anderson put an end to Stanislas Wawrinka’s perfect season - and hopes of an all-Swiss quarter-final at the BNP Paribas Open - as he defeated the Australian Open champion 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-1 on Wednesday afternoon.

He next faces Wawrinka's countryman, Roger Federer, who defeated German Tommy Haas 6-4, 6-4 in the following match on Stadium 1.

The in-form Anderson, who entered Indian Wells at a career-high No. 18 Emirates ATP Ranking following back-to-back hard-court finals in Delray Beach and Acapulco, recorded his 150th match win and his first in four matches against Wawrinka.

"It wasn't really on my mind that he had won Australia," said Anderson. "Just focused on what I was doing...  I knew it was a tough match today, and it feels great to beat somebody who obviously has just won a Grand Slam."

Wawrinka did not face a break point through his first two matches this past week, but lost serve four times against the 17th-seeded Anderson. The 28-year-old Swiss had forced a decisive set after battling from down an early break in the second, but then lost the opening service game of the third and was broken again at love in the fifth game.

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The World No. 3, playing his first tournament since becoming a Grand Slam champion, dropped to a 13-1 season mark. Anderson, meanwhile, improved to a 14-4 record with his fifth career win against a Top 10 player.

"For sure he's playing good," said Wawrinka. "He's a tough player to play on fast condition. He's serving big and always put a lot of pressure.

"But I'm more disappointed with myself. I felt I was tired mentally, but that's not the problem. I should just accept that and be positive. I think I was negative on all the match. I was complaining a lot about my serve, about the way I was playing, and with that, I don't deserve to win matches. I think I should have been more positive with myself, just trying to find solution, because it was still a close match."

Anderson knocked out another former champion, 2002-03 winner Lleyton Hewitt, in his second-round opener and looked ahead to playing four-time champion Federer for a second time. The 32-year-old Swiss claimed a straight-sets win last fall at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.

"I have to come out and focus on my game and just do what I have been doing," said Anderson. "I feel like I have been playing good tennis, and I'm going to definitely continue that tomorrow." 

Federer reached the quarter-finals for the ninth time at the BNP Paribas Open, capitalising on three of his 11 break points to record his 45th match win at the season's first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. He improved to a 13-3 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against the 35-year-old Haas, the oldest player in the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings.

Federer, who lifted the trophy at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships ahead of Indian Wells, said he would not be taking Thursday night's quarter-final lightly as he looked to extend his recent winning streak to 10 matches. 

"I know how tough he is," Federer said of Anderson. "He's the best here usually in the States, outdoors on the hard courts. That's when he's had his biggest success. I'm aware that this is not going to be an easy match just because he's not ranked in the Top 10."

Wawrinka and Federer returned to action later Wednesday, and teamed up to defeat No. 4 seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-7(6), 10-4 in the doubles quarter-finals on Stadium 2.

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