World number four, Roger Federer, has advanced to the third round of the Indian Wells Masters tennis tournament in California. Federer defeated Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk in straight sets.
Federer, just like Novak Djokovic a six-time winner here, started his campaign for a record seventh title with a solid win over Gojowczyk.
Fresh from earning his 100th ATP singles title in Dubai last week, the fourth seed put his backhand slice to good use to keep the German from gaining any rhythm in the first set.
The world number 85 put up more resistance in the second set, racing to a 3-1 lead, but Federer immediately broke back before being gifted another break of his opponent’s serve with double fault.
The Swiss eventually served out the match, in just over an hour and a quarter; the score 6-1, 7-5.
Earlier, Japan’s Kei Nishikori narrowly avoided a second round defeat against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. World number seven Nishikori was not at his best as the left-handed Mannarino’s flat ground strokes neutralised his attacking game.
It wasn’t easy…
— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) March 10, 2019
The Frenchman levelled matters at one set apiece and seemed to be heading for victory when he served for the match at 6-5 in the third set, but he too double faulted in that crucial game, allowing Nisikori to battle back and force a tie-breaker which the Japanese number one dominated to seal a 6-4, 4-6 and 7-6 victory.
In the women’s singles, 10th seed Serena Williams was forced to retire because of a viral illness during her third round clash against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza. Williams breezed through the opening three games before showing signs of fatigue.
— WTA (@WTA) March 10, 2019
Muguruza reeled off seven straight games and was up 6-3 and 1-love up in the second set when Williams walked to her chair instead of changing ends, sitting down heavily and then retiring.