ATP Masters 1000Indian WellsRoger Federer

Federer Digs Deep to Make Indian Wells Final

It's officially the GOAT's best ever start to a season as he moved to a peRFect 17-0 in 2018 so far with a hard-fought 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 over Borna Coric.

The win sees the Swiss topple the personal record he set in 2006 with a sixteen match winning streak and he's into his 8th Indian Wells final after prevailing in 2 hours and 21 minutes.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Coric

Coric won the toss and elected to receive. Federer was forced to correctly challenge on the first point en route to a love hold. Coric then levelled to 30. The pair then exchanged holds but it was Coric who seemed to be gaining the upper hand from the baseline in the exchanges and so it proved as at 5 games all he broke through before serving out the set to 15.

With Federer looking all at sea set two started poorly as he was broken in the opening game. Coric consolidated for 2-0. In games four and six Roger held a breakpoint both times at 30-40 but the Croat withstood the pressure to hold, however, in game eight Roger finally got back level, breaking and winning the next two games to steal the set as Coric threw in some cheap errors for the first time in the match.

Into the decider and again Roger started in terrible fashion, this time being broken to love with some wild groundstrokes in the swirling wind. This time, however, Coric could not consolidate and Roger broke back then held for a 2-1 lead. Coric then saved a break point and in game seven broke for the second time in the set to lead 4-3. Had Coric been able to take his sole break point in game eight he'd have been just one game away from the final but he faltered, double-faulting on break point as Roger levelled. That changed the complexion of things as the Swiss then held to love in trademark style and broke to love to book his spot in the final.

Match Stats

Roger Federer Borna Coric
Aces 5 3
Double Faults 1 2
1st Serve 60% (53/88) 64% (61/96)
1st Serve Points Won 68% (36/53) 64% (39/61)
2nd Serve Points Won 60% (21/35) 49% (17/35)
Break Points Saved 33% (2/6) 55% (6/11)
Service Games Played 16 16
1st Serve Return Points Won 36% (22/61) 32% (17/53)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 51% (18/35) 40% (14/35)
Break Points Converted 45% (5/11) 67% (4/6)
Winners 28 37
Unforced Errors 21 43
Net Points Won 61% (11/18) 71% (10/14)
Return Games Played 16 16
Service Points Won 65% (57/88) 58% (56/96)
Return Points Won 42% (40/96) 35% (31/88)
Total Points Won 53% (97/184) 47% (87/184)
SABR 0 0

Shot of the Match

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Coric Indian Wells

Roger's toughest match of the year so far and one where he didn't play well but somehow came out on top. It's the first time he's played an 11 am start since 2006 and it certainly looked like he'd just got out of bed as Coric dominated for vast periods of the match, hitting with great depth off his backhand and keeping Fed pinned behind the baseline.

In windy conditions Roger seemed to struggle to really find any sort of penetration from the back of the court and didn't look as explosive as we've seen in recent matches, upgrading far fewer backhands to forehands than normal. It was only when Roger started to throw in some junk ball up the middle of the court that he started to see some success, Coric was soaking up his best shots and redirecting them nicely but when he had to generate his own pace and do something extra he started to leak errors. The Nadal wind playing method of up the middle, avoid the lines bagged Roger the second set out of nowhere and he made just four errors in the last four games to get back into it.

The third was similar to the second with Coric running Fed around from the baseline and getting himself in front twice but just lacking that bit of composure at the business end to see it out. Probably walks away thinking he should have won but Roger stuck around for all three sets and ground out the win as he's done so many times over the years when not at his best.

Predictions vs. Del Potro

Next up is Del Possum who defeated Milos Raonic in routine fashion. He's been in great form in the last fortnight, winning in Mexico and now making the final here. The Argentine has had a couple of tough matches this week but he's come through all of them and will be looking to win his first Masters 1000 title tomorrow.

Roger dominates the H2H overall but Del Potro has his fair share of wins with a good record in finals against the Swiss so it's quite an open match. It will be interesting to see how Fed comes out having played over 2 hours today in a fairly physical match where he did a lot of defending. Del Potro has played three days straight though with two three-setters of his own so he might not be the freshest either.

No secrets to how either guy will try to play, Del Potro will be going nuclear on his forehand and Fed will be looking to move the Tower of Tandil around to stop him unloading from the baseline. If Fed's explosive and moving well out of the corners, I like his chances, if he plays like today not so much 🙂

What did you guys think of the Coric match and what are your predictions for tomorrow? Let me know in the comments.

Federer vs. Coric Indian Wells 2018 Rating

Net Play
Winner to Unforced Error Ratio
Break Point Conversion


Topsy-turvy match in blustery conditions that could have gone either way but Fed somehow ground it out. Hopp Suisse!

User Rating: 3.46 ( 8 votes)


Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Fed and tennis in general.

Related Articles


  1. Thanks Jonathan. What a match to show his grit and fighting quality. Indeed, being broken four times, Roger could have lost this one. Why should Roger lose?! Roger fought back brilliantly. Coric’s movement was very impressive; he was so quick and punished Roger for the most of those mid-court balls. Agree that having not played in the morning for such a long time may have had some negative effect on Roger. Tomorrow, Roger will beat DelPotra.
    Allez Roger!

  2. Roger never was a morning person 🙂

    Bloomin’ ATP website wasn’t showing the live scores, and I had no idea what was happening – had to use Google. Nearly gave up when I saw Roger was a set and 2-4 down …

  3. The tennis gods were on my side. Had to go to the dentist at the beginning of the 3rd. Bad timing or what. Got to the dentist and discovered they have the match at their office. So, in the chair, headphones on, tv in the ceiling and got to see the rest of the match! Best dental visit I’ve ever had.
    What a match. I really didn’t think he would pull that off. Hope the back isn’t an issue. And, yuck, Delpo in the final. What we thought would happen. Fed had a tough match today, Delpo not. Fingers crossed.

    1. Great you had the best dental visit. We’d have blamed you if he lost.
      Severin confirmed Roger had no back issue.

    2. What a great dentist! I can just see it – “could you do more dentist stuff, Roger hasn’t won yet! ” 😉

      1. Yeah, fist pumping in the chair. Now they think I’m a complete nut case. Glad there is no back issue but I don’t think we hear the whole story. Raonic was a huge disappointment, what happened to him. Come on Roger, keep your eye on the prize.

  4. I really liked the way Roger played this one since being down 3-4 in the second set.
    He made some crucial adjustments that shifted the momentum to his side.
    1. He played a more controled tennis. Not trying to play his usual aggressive tennis but a rather defensive style of play. He did go for winners when he felt he had the chance.
    2. He realized that Coric is hitting hard and well on the move, especialy on his backhand wing, so he used more body shots, mainly slices, to try and get Coric out of rhythm. He changed the pace when felt like it, but overall played more conservative than usual and tried to avoid UEs.

    Mentally, Roger’s message to Coric was: “You want the win? Come and claim it! Let’s see you take control!”.
    That change had shifted the pressure to Coric, who just couldn’t handle it and collapsed in the end of sets 2 (Roger won 4 straight games) and 3 (Roger won 3 straight games).

    Next up is Delpo, who just dissmissed Raonic in 65 mins. Will be an intersting one tomorrow.
    Go Roger!

    1. Was thinking the same Emily, specifically the wind – although of course that affects both players. Slightly better time.of day. Interesting that he talked like he was specifically targeting the 17-0 record – hopefully that won’t resultin a letdown today. Delpo is always a challenge – he’ll probably find it ‘interesting’ to work it out.

  5. Saldy – picking Delpo tomorrow. Goat looks gassed. DP will be hungrier. And Fed has feasted much already. Hope I’m wrong.

  6. As I said here before the start of Indian Wells, if video-game Federer won’t play in the Finals, it’s Delpo’s first M1000 title for sure.

  7. That match was an emotional roller coaster. More than once it looked like Coric would win it. Roger showed, with all the variety at his disposal, that he was able to find answers and turn the match around. But he had to show real grit and determination to do so. And credit to the youngster – overall he played very well.

  8. No idea how he managed to win with the ball either going into the net or out of court. Coric used his whole body to make the shots and I think tired himself out, while Fed made his usual graceful strokes, but Coric must be wondering how on earth he lost.
    Worried that he will be exhausted tomorrow. He did look pretty ropey all the way through.
    We’re all wiped out here after first watching the match from behind the couch then enjoying the replay afterwards.

  9. Too much of a nailbiter for me. I had to leave, making on beforehand explanations (too early in the morning for the old man, bad coffee, lack of motivation 1 (missing quality time with family), lack of motivation 2 (no. 1 in the bag anyway), the wind playing bad games with the ball, cannot win every time, especially not with a fast running youngster playing out his life, and even Roger is human,) – and then – coming back to see the “what?!” result. Have presumably to bite some nails again tomorrow, well such is life with Fed sometimes, and that’s happy enough.

  10. Roger has to win the final tomorrow. The winner of Indian Wells has gone on to win at Wimbledon the last 3/4 years. Twice Djokovic and Federer last year. 😊🙏🏼

  11. Excellent victory. For whatever reason, Fed seems to play better with a clean shave. The beard looks cool, but perhaps slows him down by 1/2 a step.

  12. Do you realize that since his come back in 2017, Roger played 5 Masters 1000 and reached the final of each. Incredible !

    For his 8th Indian Wells final, how about the 18 th consecutive  victory on March 18, 2018 ? He has to win this one as well.

    Go Federerator … and ask your sponsor Jura to prepare 8 cups of the best coffee for tonight … and let the lemonade to your kiddies.

    1. The fact that roger missed 5 masters(monte carlo madrid rome cincinnati and paris) and a grandslam(french open) and is still number 1 is super insane.

  13. What a rollercoaster ride, well to Roger for stealing a W when he had no business winning the match. Roger has to change his tactics feeding soft balls, slices and upping his defense. He looked flat in the beginning, not sure due to early start or too much Barilla pasta in the morning. One more match to go Rog, rest well and be sharp tomorroe.

  14. tight match indeed. Corics tactics to hit deep in the baseline was very effective…
    can u tell what will be a good tactics for against DP? the court was too slow so delpo will definitely use his hammer forehand and as we know from their previous match it will be very lethal to Fed..

  15. Go back to oatmeal, pasta that early makes you drowsy. Rod handing over the special Racquet, Tommy retiring, the Legends present, the exho yet he did it…get him him to the massage table, no tweeting !

    Borna was good value, demeanour is good, many Fed haters saying the crowd was awful and that’s why he lost etc. I didn’t get that at home in fact I thought they were too quiet for much of it. If this is IW what will happen in Miami they are raucous and merciless!
    Congrats, good luck Fed and thanks for the write up …super fast & brilliant as always Jonathan!

  16. I was watching the match sitting on the sifa in my living up until Roger found some momentum at the tail end of the second set and won it eventually. Then I got little sleepy as it was my night time and sat on the floor to make sure I wont sleep☺️ But immediately Roger was broken in the first game of the second set. I thought may be I should go back to sofa feeling little superstitious ☺️ But I told myself ‘You really cannot control how he plays just sitting in sofa. If he is to win he will. Also there will be millions of fans feeling superstitious like me and will do these sort of things☺️☺️. I will leave the superstition to the m and enjoy the match’s

    I know many of us fans might have definitely done this while watching☺️ somebody commented on the ATP site that he used all his superstitions to make Roger win the match. LOL 😊

      1. Yes. Also no guarantee that it will start at the schedule time due to preceding women’s final. For past few years Indian Wells finals has given me bad sleeping night.

  17. Roger was really lucky to win this match. Coric looks like the real deal. The nextGen to make it could be Chung and Coric instead of Thiem and Sasha. Hope Roger has better conditions tomorrow and plays much better than what we saw today. Surprising to see Coric having the better stats on the winners and net points than Roger. DelPossum could be at the top of my most hated players list already.

    1. Great read, thank you!
      Made me think… does anyone here thinks that there might be a chance to see Roger play mixed doubles with his daughters?

      1. Professionally? No. An exhibition or for a charity? Possibly. Fed would be about 45 years old around that time. Interesting thought.

    2. Yea, super, nice honest information – handling a wonderfully successful, but just as much, not easy life to balance all that

  18. I’m still trying to understand how on earth Roger won this match! Seeing the numbers posted Jonathan
    no way would I have thought they stacked up like this. Just hope there is enough in the Federer Tank
    for Delpotro so C’mon Roger you can’t be luckier than yesterday just be good x

  19. Hell of a roller coasterer! Many of us in the chat thought he didn’t make it, didn’t we?
    Regular or most of the player would lose match like that even Fed few years ago around 2013. But this version of him, his incredible resilience and will to win….is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! And he didn’t just hang in there but using his IQ and played smart. I am in awe of him. He’s the man and What a man.

    1. “Champions are made from something they have deep inside of them – a desire, a dream, a vison.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

  20. The heart and mind of a champion,it’s a cliche but true.Until the younger players can attain that,people are just being silly calling them baby Fed or young Djokovic or whatever.You may have the game but it is that utter refusal to
    loose that separates the greats from the also rans.
    Thank you for the astute write up,I just did not know what to make of the match and only saw it intermittently and the third set not at all.
    So Del Possum.It is going to be close,but I think the calmer weather will help.It all comes down to how much Fed has left.Delpo lucky to get the easy semi so we shall have to see.

  21. Coming to yesterday’s match, the main reason Roger was under trouble because of his stubbornness to take down Borna through the back hand wing which is basically the opponent’s strength. He tried to match shot to shot from back hand. As commentator Rob Keoing rightly said, Roger and other top guys do these things to keep their ego in tact and take down their opponent’s strength. While this work most of the times, it can back fire if the gut across the net has some serious stuff on his strongest weapon. Another classic example is Roger’s QF against Delpo in US Open 17 where he clearly tried take down Delpo on his forehand wing which ultimately cost him the match.
    Good thing yesterday was Roger realized this when the match was just about to slip out of his hands and tried more variations with back hand.
    Initially he was simply wacking back hand returns and in some games he was trying only slices. Only once he started mixing up wacking back hands with more controlled slices Borna started making mistakes and Roger escaped the upset.

    1. He definitely overplayed to the backhand but that is the natural pattern and if he does take it down the line he gives up way to much free court if it goes wrong. I think Borna played very well, Djokovic esque and in Indian Wells that works a treat as we’ve seen..

  22. I wonder,does Fed play two bad matches in a row?Sometimes he plays a brilliant match and then follows it with a poor one,thinking of the Wimbledon semi against Murray which he followed by losing to Djokovic but as this is vice versa,perhaps that is a good omen.At least he doesn’t have to get up too early and on this occasion I hope the women go on and on so he has more recovery time.So we can be sure they will finish in under an hour because they
    would wouldn’t they.😎

      1. I can imagine a dramatic and highly passionate match, but like you say, not a particularly long one

  23. Both players are tired. Roger seems gassed.
    Very negative body language. He coughed a bit. Maybe he’s not 100%….

    1. Nor am I – got a raised temperature as it is without having to watch Delpo being so threatening. Go Roger fight. Remember you’re world number 1.

  24. The first embarrassing loss Roger has suffered in a while. 40-15 in the final game, and the worst shot selection imaginable. He stopped playing completely after he lost that game. A gruesome performance really, though perhaps some karma, since Fed got lucky against Coric this tournament, and has had his fair share of luck against Delpo throughout their career. Really one that got away. Shame, Roger.

    1. Well,I don’t think that was an embarrassing loss at all.Embarrasing was the Raonic loss 6-2,6-1 or
      whatever it was in less than an hour.Fed didn’t get lucky against Coric,he toughed it out and found a way to win.Neither is Feds head to head against Potro a matter of luck.Fed had three match points in this match for goodness sake.However that was a disastrous tie break and two double faults really
      gifted it to Potro.But tiebreaks are always a lottery,a couple of points here or there and that’s it.
      Fed started slow,too many slices and drop shots I think but will await Jonathan’s expert analysis.
      But personally I blame it on that awful stubble.Shave it off😉

      1. Yes, Fed got lucky against Coric. Even he himself said that he should’ve lost that match. Down a break in the second after losing the first set, down a break several times in the third. He was up that key break in the third against Delpo and lost, so that’s karma. But, it was very poor not close it out against a guy who, as you said, he generally beats. He needed to choose smarter shots and not go passive, but he did the opposite of all that on virtually every point in that game. The match was over when he got broken to 5-5. The tiebreak was a formality. Passing the psychological initiative like that is devastating, and both players knew it was done.

    2. Shame? Do you mean pity? Fell asleep during last set (shame), it’s late over here. The counting tells a very tight match. From what I saw before sleep, also very tight, and very good points by both. So my only consolation, Roger still plays amazing. A pity he just almost made it this time. But he really IS amazing.

      1. I disagree. Roger’s UFE count was horrific. Del Potro was better throughout the match, as Jon’s write-up states, but when you’re up 40-15 against a guy you generally beat, you need to close it out. You can’t dump points or play passive, which was very unusual to see, given how little of that Roger has displayed since his 2017 resurgence.

  25. Really, really painful this loss… That dropshot on the third match point is just painful to remember. Roger had Delpo pinned down the baseline could have gone for the long slice and force Delpo come with the passing shot. That was just uninspired shot selection there. He freezed the whole game when serving for the match… And just when I was hoping he’d still have some gas in the tank for the tiebreak following the heartbreak game, he threw it away… I really, really hope it’s not too bad in his head for the remainder of this season… I was already calculating how this would be his 98th title, Halle potentially his 99th with Wimbledon being there for the 100th… I must have jinxed him. What a shame 🙁

  26. Nah,Fed can’t win them all.He could come back and wallop Potro in Miami like he did last year.
    Fed was playing far below his best for the last two matches.He won one against a zoning apponent,and nearly won the title against a very tough opponent who had a far easier and quicker semi final and he is the world number one.
    Let’s take the positives but I am concerned about Lubivck not being around.Bit odd that.

  27. Wow, really tough to take. Bad start but against an excellent Delpo, and when he is good he is very good. I felt, however, at the beginning Roger was playing too much to Delpo’s strengths. But he fought and fought and in the third was the better player until match point. I don’t know but it just seemed for once his thinking got a little bit ahead of the moment and he lost focus. Maybe he was thinking, now I don’t need to play Miami to stay number one and I’m mentally a bit finished so I won’t play it. Who knows, but he was a fraction away from a brilliant result and you can’t win them all. Looks like he needs a break.

  28. … Roger was/is sick. His game seemed pretty off but slightly better than yesterday. Movements and footwork weren’t as usual and the selection of his shots was also a bit unusual. Obviously Fed can’t win them all but he lost the match. Although he should have sealed the 5-4 lead and the match point he had in the third set, Del Potro also “choked’ on his match point on the second set when it was 6-6 (on the T-B). So both really deserved to win but this match, even if it was close wasn’t that quality. Both player had their big moments and off moments and a lot of mistakes by both of them but Fed made more which made a difference. The tie-break on the third set was probably one of the worst tie-breaks for Federer in his career.

      1. Well his match point at the advantage pretty much summed up Fed’s poor choice of shots. He controlled the point, Delpo struggled, and even if Fed had half of the court open for him, he still chose to make a drop shot which was pretty much mishit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *