Roger Federer defeated Jeremy Chardy 7-5, 6-4 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2018 BNP Paribas Open. The Swiss will face Hyeon Chung for a semifinal berth and the security of his no.1 ranking.

The Swiss became the oldest man to ever become ATP World no.1 in February after winning twelve consecutive matches, including titles at the Australian Open and ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. In order to maintain his top spot, he has to reach the semifinals in Indian Wells. Prior to the match with Jeremy Chardy, he managed to defeat Federico Delbonis and Filip Krajinovic. For further information, you can check our recap of the latter match.

Jeremy Chardy has been steadily declining over the past two or three years, not showing any signs of the form that he had when he reached his career-high ranking of no.25 in January 2013, when he made his best Grand Slam appearance, losing in Australian Open quarterfinals to Andy Murray. However, he has managed to turn back time this week and defeat Julien Benneteau, Fabio Fognini and Adrian Mannarino.

Chardy wasn’t always an easy rival for Federer. The Frenchman scored an upset win over the 20-time Grand Slam champion at the Italian Open 2014, saving one match point in the process. In both of their hardcourt meetings prior to this fortnight, Chardy took a set of the Swiss.

It was very windy on Wednesday in California and these kinds of conditions can make a tennis match unpredictable. The Frenchman’s game focused on a big serve-big forehand combination worked great in that weather and allowed Chardy to keep up with Federer for a very long time. Up until 5-5, the underdog played a pretty much perfect game, at least for his standards. However, in that pivotal moment of the first part of the much, Chardy broke down, hitting two double-faults and missing a simple volley just to get broken and allow the Swiss to serve for the set. Federer took the chance and closed it out seven games to five.

It didn’t all go downhill from there for Chardy as the Frenchman got himself up and once again produced a few good holds. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t dig deep into the world no.1’s service games, as Federer didn’t lose a single point after his first serve. The Swiss also defended exceptionally well, as witnessed here or later in a stunning backhand passing shot on the run:

Once again, the closer it was to the end of the set, the harder it was for the Frenchman to stay in it.  Federer took his second break point opportunity at 4-4 with a fantastic backhand crosscourt winner and sealed the deal 7-5, 6-4 with a quick hold to love. The Swiss lost just five service points in 11 games, all five on second serves.

BNP Paribas Open 2018 Quarterfinals will saw Hyeon Chung play Roger Federer. The young Korean has a game that’s reminding a lot of one of Federer’s biggest rivals, Novak Djokovic. It will be a rematch of this year’s Australian Open semifinal, where Chung had to retire down 1-6, 2-5 because of a blister on his foot. This time, the Korean should be one hundred percent fit and dangerous, having scored wins this week over Dusan Lajovic, Tomas Berdych and Pablo Cuevas. Should Federer defeat Chung, he will also make sure that the no.1 ranking stays with him on the next Monday.