Del Potro Demolishes Raonic To Set Up Federer Final

Federer defeated Chung Hyeon 7-5 6-1 and equal his career-best start of 16-0 from 2006

World No. 1 Roger Federer survived a scare from unseeded Borna Coric to beat him 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals on Saturday (March 17) and keep his bid for a record sixth Indian Wells title alive.

The win was Federer's 17th of the year, surpassing his previous career best of 16 consecutive victories in 2006.

Federer even had two championship points in the third set, on serve, but was broken by del Potro who went on to play a brilliant tie-break in the third for the win.

In the second set, Federer and Isner stayed on serve through the first six games, making it appear as if another tiebreak was on the way. It went to a tiebreaker, where the Argentinian built towards a match point at 8-7.

In 2017, Federer won the title by defeating Ston Wawrinka by 6-4, 7-5. Del Potro had to work hard to reach the tie break, fending off two set points in game 10 and turning this epic final into a roller coaster ride.

Del Potro is now on a 10-match winning streak, having triumphed at the Mexican Open earlier this month.

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"I don't have that many hours on court, and in those hours what do I choose to do", Federer said.

"The people are screaming when I miss a first serve!" a filthy Del Potro yelled at Murphy in the second set as he demanded the official keep the crowd quiet.

"I want to congratulate Roger, for a great week, for great success in this historical year", del Potro said. "I would love to repeat my win from the US Open 10 years ago".

The 29-year-old Argentine returned to the BNP Paribas Open final for the first time since 2013, when he fell to Rafael Nadal in the title match, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

"Then I won the Davis Cup and I said, 'OK, I don't have any more pressure to play tennis because I won everything I wanted except a Masters 1000.' But today I did that".

Del Potro is hardly a feel-good story anymore, the underdog scrapping his way back from three wrist surgeries between 2014 and 2015 that caused him to contemplate retirement. "I can see why he caused a lot of problems to a lot of players, and he's only going to improve from here".

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He had been named in the squad for England's first tour match against a New Zealand XI, which began on Wednesday, but did not play.

"I was lucky in both sets with early breaks", Del Potro said afterwards.

"I think it's more significant maybe (being) world No. 1 at the age that I did it rather than maybe the beginning of the year's start", Federer said recently.

With a powerful forehand, Del Potro will be looking to cause trouble to Federer but his shaky backhand might be a cause for concern.

The Swiss superstar was playing a rare 11 a.m. match.

Federer said he has no plans of retiring any time soon.

Federer leads their head to head record 18-6.

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Federer and del Potro are scheduled to meet in the final tomorrow after the women's final between Japan's Naomi Osaka and Russia's Daria Kasatkina.

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