Federer, Wawrinka set up showdown in Indian Wells final

Federer, Wawrinka set up showdown in Indian Wells final

Kyrgios, who beat Novak Djokovic for the second tournament in a row to reach the last eight, took to Twitter about an hour before the scheduled start of the match against the Australian Open champion to announce his withdrawal. He needed just 21 minutes to wrap up the first set, with Sock requiring treatment from the trainer midway through it. "Stan is going to be very different from Jack (Sock)".

The ninth seed did not face a break point in his 6-1 7-6 (7-4) victory on the hardcourt at Indian Wells.

World No.18 Sock finally broke through against a top-five ranked opponent, the 6-3 2-6 6-2 win his first after losing seven matches against such competition.

Indeed now, Sock's serving was better than Federer's: His level rose to over 60 percent and he dropped only three points from 26 on that first serve.

Sock then managed to hold his serve throughout the second set, but the 18-time Grand Slam champion won the tiebreaker handily to wrap up a 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) victory.

Fans will soon catch Federer on a more familiar teritory on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) when he plays either Jack Sock or Kei Nishikori at the BNP Paribas Open final. "I was just happy to be playing another 10 events maybe".

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"I think he served really well", said Nishikori.

"I came out and really saw the ball well".

"In the second set, I had to rely a lot on my second serve", Federer said. It has been that sort of stars-aligned season for Federer even if he did lose early in Dubai after winning the Australian Open, blowing a lead and three match points against Evgeny Donskoy, the 116th-ranked qualifier from Russian Federation. Probably the fact that "Sveta", a 31-year-old who will play her 40th career-final on Sunday, is a more experienced player on a such important stage can be decisive for the final result of the match.

"I was excited for Miami a year ago, was going to test my knee, and then I got there and I got a stomach bug", he said. He owns a 19-3 edge over Wawrinka, including 14-0 on hard courts, and has won their past three meetings, including in the Australian Open semifinals in January.

"I don't think he himself quite knows exactly how ill he is and what he's got going on, so he wants to be safe right now", Federer said. But Wawrinka's mental toughness can never be underestimated, as both Djokovic and Nadal have found out in grand slam finals. Sock got a sense of what it takes to be in the match against a great player, not merely on the court.