Roger Federer maintained his perfect record against Jack Sock, dispatching the American in straight sets 6-1 7-6(4). There was never any doubt about the outcome, as Federer was in control the entire match and Sock did well to take the match to a tiebreak in the second set. It was however to no avail as the Swiss Maestro proved to be too much of a challenge.
Sock had displayed tenacity and overcome expectations to make it this far in the tournament. This was in fact his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal and there could be many more in the American’s future if he can keep up this level of play. Unfortunately for him, his opponent today was 18-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer; who also happened to be in great form. Sock had never beaten, much less taken a set from Federer in their two previous encounters and he was looking to break that trend on a hot sunny afternoon in the desert.
Federer on the other hand was looking to reach his seventh Indian Wells final, having won the trophy on four different occasions. He had progressed through this year’s tournament without dropping a set and had a walkover victory in the quarterfinal, after Nick Kyrgios had to withdraw via food poisoning. Conversely, Sock had used the opposite route and won each of his previous matches in three sets, outlasting Japan’s Kei Nishikori in his quarterfinal bout 6-3 2-6 6-2.
The first set was a one-sided affair, with Federer claiming his first break in the fourth game. Sock exhibited some shaky play, producing a double fault and missing an easy overhead. However the Swiss Maestro also displayed exceptional shot-making, fired some great serves and soon broke Sock again in the sixth game before taking the first set 6-1 in just 21 minutes.
Sock called for the trainer immediately after and it seemed like his extended time on the court over the last few days was taking it’s toll. He however displayed more confidence as he relied more on big serves and aggressive net play. He employed his kick serve, which was particularly effective against Nishikori, and even saved a break point in the seventh game. Federer had not been broken all tournament and this match soon went to a tiebreak. Sock had a mini break to go up 3-1, but was unable to consolidate as an errant forehand gave Federer the break back. The crowd tried to urge the number 17 seed on but Federer dictated play and soon claimed the set and match 6-1 7-6(4) in 1 hour 14 minutes.
“Overall I played a good match,” Federer said post-match. “In the second Jack got into it. I’m super happy to be in the finals.”
This will be an all-Swiss affair, as Federer attempts to take down compatriot and good friend Stan Wawrinka, who dominated Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3 6-2 in the day’s other semifinal. Federer holds a commanding 19-3 lead over Wawrinka, with all of Stan’s victories coming on clay so Roger is the favorite to win this and claim his fifth Indian Wells crown and 90th career singles title.
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