Tennis: Federer crushes Krajinovic, path clear for Swiss to grab record 6th Indian Wells title

Roger Federer (pictured) hits a backhand in his match against Filip Krajinovic during the BNP Paribas Open, on March 12, 2018.
Roger Federer (pictured) hits a backhand in his match against Filip Krajinovic during the BNP Paribas Open, on March 12, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

INDIAN WELLS (REUTERS) - World No. 1 Roger Federer needed less than an hour to dispatch Filip Krajinovic at the BNP Paribas Open in California on Monday (March 12), mixing overpowering serves and pinpoint groundstrokes to advance to the fourth round of the tournament.

Playing for a third consecutive day due to weather delays in Indian Wells, the 36-year-old Swiss showed no sign of wear en route to a 6-2, 6-1 thrashing of the Serb in the pair's first meeting.

Federer, who had looked slightly off his game in his rain-disrupted third-round match against Federico Delbonis, was his dominant self on Monday, winning 89 per cent of his first-service points while cracking six aces to just one double fault.

Krajinovic had no answer for his opponent's serve or relentless return game and ended up winning just 31 of the match's 93 points.

With rivals Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray electing not to enter the tournament, and Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori both eliminated, the path appears clear for the Swiss to win a record sixth Indian Wells title.

Despite the promising outlook, Federer insisted he was taking it one match at a time.

"You can't really look ahead to semi-finals, finals and speculate about who you could play," he told reporters. "I think that would be a mistake. I am on a good run right now and I want to maintain that. I have to stay sharp."

Next up for him is a meeting on Wednesday with France's Jeremy Chardy, who upset his countryman Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 earlier on Monday.