World No. 1 Roger Federer and the defending champion, will be aiming for a record sixth Indian Wells title when he squares off against world number eight Juan Martin Del Potro in Sunday’s championship match.
The fixture will climax another riveting match between Daria Kasatkina and Naomi Osaka, both twenty-years old, who will slug it out in the finals of the women’s category. While the ladies will play at 7pm Nigerian time, Federer and Del Potro will play at 9pm.
The 36-year-old Federer, who has extended his winning streak to 17 matches after beating Borna Coric in three thrilling sets, said he is expecting another gruelling war of attrition with the Argentinian.
“We have had a lot of close matches. Big matches, close matches,” he said. “Jeez, I just tried to think back at the French Open semis, US Open finals, Olympic semis, Basel finals. Just three-setters, five-setters the whole way,” said Federer.
Del Potro said he will be the underdog against Federer.
“He’s the favourite to win tomorrow,” Del Potro said. “But I beat him in the past, and I know I can repeat that. But it is not easy.”
Del Potro, a former US Open champion, improved to 16-3 on the season as he stormed past the hard-serving Canadian Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-3 in just 65 minutes.
Del Potro is looking for his 22nd career and second straight ATP title in a row after winning earlier this month in Acapulco where he beat three top eight players in a row.
“I broke his serve quick in both sets and that gave me control of the match,” said Del Potro. “It was an easier match than I expected.”
Federer is 18-6 lifetime against Del Potro, having rallied to win the last two contests in three sets, including a 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-3 victory in the championship game last year in Federer’s hometown of Basel.