Federer and Bencic in Indian Wells action
Switzerland’s Hopman Cup-winning side is heating up the desert at the Indian Wells Masters, with Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic both advancing with ease.
The pair each blew away opponents on Tuesday: Federer hammered good friend and compatriot Stan Wawrinka 6-3, 6-4 in 59 minutes in the third round.
Dubai WTA champion Bencic won an 11th straight match as she shocked WTA No. 1 Noami Osaka 6-3, 6-1 in 66 minutes to earn a quarter-final spot.
Federer won his 64th match at the Tennis Garden and his fourth here against Wawrinka.
Federer lifted his impressive record in the series to 22-3, winning their last six against Wawrika while dropping only three sets.
The Federer-Wawrinka match was watched by Pete Sampras, ex-ski racing ace Bode Miller as well as the player’s parents and family.
“It’s great fun right now, I’m injury-free with no pain,” Federer said. “It’s a thrill to play here.
“I felt good from the beginning. I was able to mix up my game, cover my serve, be dangerous on the return. Maybe take some rhythm away from Stan, like I always try to do, but you can’t always make it work.
“Tonight it worked well, so I think it was a good match for me.“
The 20-time Grand Slam champion winner, on the hunt for a record sixth trophy here after winning the 100th of his career barely a week ago in Dubai, next takes on Briton Kyle Edmund, who beat Radu Albot 6-3, 6-3.
Bencic, who turned 22 this week, is riding the best streak of her young career after exiting from several seasons of injury.
The Swiss was thrilled with her upset win over Osaka, champion at the last two Grand Slams.
“She’s the No. 1 player in the world. She won everything in the last couple of months,” the 23rd-ranked Bencic said.
“It’s a definite high. I played a great match. I’m really happy with myself.”
“I’m trying to take the ball early, trying to dictate the point myself.”
The winner said she had to decipher a dangerous opponent as she went along after last playing Osaka in January, 2018 at the Hopman Cup.
“I figured it out during the match. But I really wasn’t focusing so much on her. I was focusing on my game.
“I’m very confident with my game right now. I’m hitting the ball well. Things worked out for me.”