There will be two new ATP Masters 1000 quarter-finalists at the BNP Paribas Open – Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic and Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.
But amidst the change, familiar faces remain. Five-time champion Roger Federer advanced to his 13th Indian Wells quarter-final on Wednesday afternoon, 6-1, 6-4, taking advantage of a slow start from top Brit and 23rd seed Kyle Edmund in their first meeting.
“He didn’t have the best start, so that cost him the first set. Second set, it was definitely better. I think he probably struggled throughout a little bit. He never really got going. Conditions are tough with the glare, and the jump of the ball is sometimes hard to find the rhythm and timing,” Federer said.
“Being able to belt the ball like he does needs either a good start or good conditions, and he didn’t quite find that. I’m sure I profited a little bit from it, but again, I was able to keep him uncomfortable throughout the match.
“He’s got everything in the game. It’s just a matter of keeping improving, keep plugging away, and then he will make big results again. He knows that.”[ALSO LIKE]
The 37-year-old Federer will experience another first as he and Hurkacz will meet for the first time in the quarter-finals. The 22-year-old Pole, who competed at the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, beat #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-3.
“I enjoy it,” Federer said of playing guys for the first time. “Hurkacz… He’s also up and coming, so that’s fun. Kyle, the same thing. I have never played him before other than practice. It’s nice to see what they have in the matches and really get a sense how much more we will see of them. For me, at a top level, I like it that I’m not playing the same guys every single week.”
Edmund, meanwhile, will want to have another go at the 27-time Masters 1000 champion. The Brit double faulted twice to start his first service game, and unfortunately for the 23-year-old, the nervy beginning was an omen.
Federer broke twice in the opening set, and Edmund failed to convert any of his three break chances to get back on serve in the third game. Federer pounded Edmund’s backhand, and the Antwerp titlist was stuck trying to rally from the baseline with Federer.
As Rod Laver, two-time champion Pete Sampras and tournament owner Larry Ellison looked on, Edmund settled into the match, but Federer saved four more break points in the second, going seven for seven for the match.