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Indian Wells Masters: Wawrinka edges Fucsovics in epic to set up third round clash with Federer

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 11 Mar 2019
  • Wawrinka beats Fucsovics in three hours and 24 minutes
  • He goes on to face Federer in the third round
  • Nadal also won on Sunday in Indian Wells
Stan Wawrinka (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

Stan Wawrinka has set up a blockbuster third round Indian Wells Masters showdown against countryman and five-time champion Roger Federer after surviving an epic contest against Marton Fucsovics on Sunday night.

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Three-time major champion Wawrinka was forced to fight off a whopping 21 break points (there were a staggering 48 break points overall) as he outlasted 29th seed Fucsovics in a marathon three-setter, prevailing 4-6 7-6(5) 7-5 after three hours and 24 minutes.

Almost every game was a battle and war of attrition, but it was Wawrinka - and perhaps his greater experience - that saw him gain the edge. Fucsovics had never previously won a best-of-three match that went over three hours, but the Hungarian threatened to stage a miraculous comeback when he brushed aside three match points in the deciding set as Wawrinka was serving for it at 5-4.

However, Fucsovics couldn’t kick on from that moment, dropping serve immediately, and although he once again made Wawrinka work for it, forcing four more break points and saving another match point, the Swiss wasn’t to be denied as Fucsovics sent an attempted lob just inches long.

Wawrinka and Fucsovics are developed a habit of playing out epic marathon matches - their only other meeting came last year at the Canada Masters, which Wawrinka won in a deciding set tiebreak.

The win means Wawrinka goes on to face 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the third round on Tuesday.





Playing his first match since winning his 100th career singles title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Federer booked his spot in the Round of 32 with a 6-1 7-5 victory over Peter Gojowczyk earlier on Monday.

Federer exploded out of the blocks and barely broke a sweat as he sprinted through the first set in just 25 minutes, but he found himself in a spot of bother in the second set as Gojowczyk’s flat and powerful hitting started to hit its mark, with the German opening up a break lead at 3-1. Realising he needed to raise his level, Federer immediately broke back, and while games went on serve until 5-5, you got the feeling it was only a matter of time until the Swiss would make his charge again - which he did in the 11th game, breaking once more and serving the match out to 15.

"For the first round I actually felt really good. If I maybe would have served a little bit better, I think things would have gone faster," Federer said. "But at the end it was a tough second set, and it's maybe exactly what I needed."

Federer and Wawrinka will be squaring off for the 25th time, with Federer holding a dominant 21-3 lead in their head-to-head, including winning all of their encounters on hardcourt and beating Wawrinka in straight sets in the 2017 Indian Wells final.

Elsewhere, World No. 2 Rafael Nadal made his intentions known in the desert as he raced to a 6-1 6-1 rout of Jared Donaldson, emerging victorious in just 72 minutes.

Nadal goes on to meet Diego Schwartzman for a place in the fourth round. The Spaniard leads the Argentine 6-0 in their head-to-head.


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Indian Wells Masters: Wawrinka edges Fucsovics in epic to set up third round clash with Federer

Stan Wawrinka has set up a blockbuster third round Indian Wells Masters showdown against countryman and five-time champion Roger Federer after surviving an epic contest against Marton Fucsovics on Sunday night.

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