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Federer vs Hurkacz ATP Indian Wells Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Federer battles impressive young gun Hurkacz for semi-final spot

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 15 Mar 2019
  • Roger Federer vs Hubert Hurkacz is live from Indian Wells on Friday, 15 March from 11:00am local time/ 6:00pm GMT
  • Federer and Hurkacz will meet for the first time on Friday
Roger Federer. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Swiss great, Roger Federer continues his quest for a record-breaking breaking sixth Indian Wells title on Friday when he takes on Polish young gun in the quarter finals.

Federer is seeking back-to-back ATP World Tour titles, having won in Dubai a couple of weeks ago. That Dubai success was Federer's milestone 100th career title, as the legendary Swiss became only the second man in the Open Era, after Jimmy Connors, to reach three digits in career titles won.

The 37-year-old is one win away from setting up a potential Indian Wells semi-final with great rival, Rafael Nadal, who plays Russia's Karen Khachanov in his own quarter final, also on Friday.

Federer has been untroubled in his run to the Indian Wells quarter finals, opening with a 6-1 7-5 victory over Germany's Peter Gojowczyk before making light work of compatriot, Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round. The match was built up as a potentially close affair, as Wawrinka had been playing quite well this season, but the Swiss No. 1 proved far too good, dropping just ten points on serve and offering no break chances in a near-impeccable serving performance. Federer broke once in each set to complete a fine 6-3 6-4 victory in exactly an hour.

The world No. 4 continued his Indian Wells cruise with a 6-1 6-4 fourth-round victory over Kyle Edmund. British No. 1, Edmund was very slow off the blocks, sending down two double faults en route dropping his serve in the opening game of the match. He never truly recovered from that, as Federer went on to secure another break to take the first set. Edmund was not without his chances, but he failed to convert any of seven break points, including three when Federer served for the match at 5-4 in the second set.

“He didn't have the best start, so that cost him the first set. Second set, it was definitely better” Federer assessed. “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”.  
“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”.

Federer is now 11-1 for the season, with his only defeat being that shock fourth-round loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open. He gained a measure of revenge when he beat the Greek in Dubai, and will now confront another of the sport's young guns, Hubert Hurkacz in the Indian Wells quarter finals. This will be Federer's 13th quarter final in California- can he proceed to his 12th semi-final by taking out Hurkacz on Friday?

Hubert Hurkacz. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Young gun, Hurkacz is contesting his second consecutive ATP World Tour quarter final, backing up his efforts in Dubai with another terrific run at Indian Wells. Prior to Dubai, he had not won consecutive matches at tour-level, and had won just four main draw matches in his young career.

Hurkacz’s 2018 rise was majorly down to his performances at Challenger level, as he claimed titles in Poznan and Brest, and made the final in Zhuhai. He did register his first tour-level wins last season (three of them in total), including marquee first-round victories over Tennys Sandgren and Stefano Travaglia at Roland Garros and the US Open respectively. All of that contributed to his rise from 237th in January to a year-end mark of 86th. He also featured at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, where he went out in the round-robin phase, having won just one of his three matches.

Hurkacz initially struggled on the ATP World Tour at the start of the year, suffering three successive first-round exits, but he has picked things significantly in the last month, and is enjoying the best period of his young career.

The 22-year-old impressed with victories over Corentin Moutet and Kei Nishikori (his first top-ten win) in Dubai, but he has shifted through a few more gears at Indian Wells, taking out Donald Young in straight sets, before producing excellent three-set wins, Lucas Pouille, Nishikori (again) and Denis Shapovalov. He is into his maiden Masters 1000 quarter final on his Indian Wells debut, and he’ll go up against the great Roger Federer! 

"He's also up and coming, so that's fun", Federer said of his next opponent. "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.”

Hurkacz has got genuine firepower, especially the serve and the forehand, while his backhand is a solid stroke. He also moves quite well for a man of his size, and has shown in this tournament that he's got useful hands at the net, not that he spends too much time up there anyway.

There is enough about his big game to create problems for Federer, and he also appears to be very tough mentally, which is great, as it means he won't succumb to a limp defeat. But defeat, I think it will be as Federer should have far too many options for the young Pole.

Roger Federer vs Hubert Hurkacz is live from Indian Wells on Friday, 15 March from 11:00am local time/ 6:00pm GMT

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Federer vs Hurkacz ATP Indian Wells Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Federer battles impressive young gun Hurkacz for semi-final spot

Roger Federer continues his quest for a sixth Indian Wells title on Friday as he goes up against young Pole, Hubert Hurkacz. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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