Federer Downs Dodig to Move into Round of 16; Nadal Through on Walkover

Roger Federer

(March 11, 2013) It was ATP World Tour win number 890 for BNP Paribas Open defending champion Roger Federer when he defeated Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-3, 6-1 on Monday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The Swiss joins elite company with Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Guillermo Vilas, the only other men to have won at least 890 matches in their careers.

Federer appeared to tweak his back near the end of the match and he spoke about it to media.

“But it’s not the first time it’s happened in my career,” the Swiss said “so, I don’t know, I know how to deal with it.  I’m walking fine.  I have a day off tomorrow.  Everything is all right”

Federer notes that he’d be surprised if it kept him from playing his next match against the winner of Lleyton Hewitt versus Stan Wawwrinka.

Before Monday’s play, an earthquake struck at 9:55 a.m. near Indian Wells.

“Well, the one in New York I was in the car so I didn’t feel it, and then here today was literally the first time I ever felt one,  “ Federer said.  “For the first few seconds I wasn’t sure what was happening.

“I ran outside.  I was at the house and I didn’t know how long it was going to last, if it was going to get worse from there, or if the worst was already past.

“Thank God family wasn’t in the house.  They were outside somewhere.  It was a very strange feeling to have, because you see the windows shaking and you look up and realize you’re under a structure.  It was quite scary for a second there.”

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal who received a walkover into the round of 16, when Leonardo Mayer withdrew was startled when the earthquake hit.

“I was very scared,” he said.

“I was on the massage table preparing for my warmup.  I think the massage table moves even worse more.”

Nadal said his legs were wobbling while he was experiencing his first earthquake and it took him  “probably a half-second” to realize what was actually happening.

On Sunday Nadal hit with tournament owner Larry Ellison, the co-founder and CEO of Oracle Corp. and one of the richest men in the world.

“Yeah, is great, no?,” said Nadal who was asked about the hit.  “I played with him last year.  I had the chance to play again yesterday a little bit with him.  Always it’s a really honor.

“He’s improving a lot.  His backhand improve especially a lot from last year, so that’s great.  He changed to Babolat racquet, so…

“It means a lot for me,” the Spaniard said about playing with Ellison, “and especially for the tennis, have somebody like Larry who is supporting like this our sport.  I think is very important.  He’s great, one of the most important person of the world.  He loves tennis and support one of the best tournaments of the world.”

Ernests Gulbis by Maria Noble

Nadal will face Ernests Gulbis in the round of 16. Gulbis moved past Andreas Seppi  5‑7, 6‑3, 6‑4.

Gulis who is 0-4  against the 11-time major  champion, says he can beat him.

“I believe that I can win,” Gulbis said. “Yeah, I said it already.”

“It doesn’t ‑‑ okay, it matters if I win or not, but I want to play as much as matches as possible against these top guys.

“Sooner or later I’m going to win something, you know, it’s gonna give me extra confidence, and then just to keep it there, you know.  I need to win the guys who are ranked 20 to, I don’t know, to 100 easier than I did let’s say today, and then I need to have enough shots against the big guys.”