Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer advance at ATP Indian Wells Masters

Updated: Mar 12, 2019, 08:52 IST | AFP

World No. 2 Spaniard beats Jared Donaldson 6-1, 6-1, while Swiss ace Federer defeats Peter Gojowczyk 6-1, 7-5, to enter Round Three at Indian Wells

Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer advance at ATP Indian Wells Masters
World No. 2 Rafael Nadal returns to Jared Donaldson during their second-round encounter in Indian Wells, California and Switzerland’s Roger Federer hits a forehand against Germany's Peter Gojowczyk during a second round match in Indian Wells. Pics/AFP

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal raced into the third round of the ATP Indian Wells Masters as Roger Federer made a less speedy but still successful start to his quest for a sixth title on Sunday.

Nadal, a three-time Indian Wells winner, needed just 72 minutes to get past overmatched Jared Donaldson, 6-1, 6-1. Federer, who is seeking to break out of a tie with top seed Novak Djokovic for most titles in the California desert, looked set for a similarly easy time of it, but had to turn back a second-set challenge from German Peter Gojowczyk in a 6-1, 7-5 win.

Fourth-seeded Federer said he was relieved not to go to a second-set tie-breaker after falling behind 3-1 to the free-swinging German, who is ranked 85th in the world. The Swiss regained the break and, after saving four break points to make it 4-4, cruised home.

"I struggled a little bit with my serving in that second set and that gave him chances. Because he was serving better, he started to swing more freely and then it was tough," Federer said. "I'm really happy I found a way in that second set."

Roger faces Stan next
Federer next faces compatriot Stan Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam champion currently unseeded as he continues his return from injury. Wawrinka won a taut thriller against 29th-seeded Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, finally sealing it on his fifth match point after three hours and 24 minutes when Fucsovics lofted a lob long.

Nadal, playing his third tournament of a year that started with a crushing loss to Djokovic in the Australian Open final and included an early exit in Acapulco, converted five of his six break chances against Donaldson and never faced a break point himself.

He next faces Diego Schwartzman, who beat Spain's Roberto Carballes, 6-3, 6-1. Nadal is 6-0 against the Argentine. "Today was a very positive step for me, and the next one is going to be against a player that we know each other very well - we practiced a lot of times, and we played some tough matches," Nadal said.

"It's going to be a tough one against Diego," he added, calling Schwartzman "one of the best talents of the sport today."

Nishikori survives scare
In other early matches, sixth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan survived a scare in a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4) victory over France's Adrian Mannarino. Mannarino, ranked 52nd in the world, served for the match at 6-5 in the third.

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