Roger Federer earns 16th straight win to equal best ever start to a season - Can anyone stop the Swiss legend at Indian Wells?

Andrew Hendrie in ATP 16 Mar 2018
  • Federer goes 16-0 for 2018 after beating Chung
  • Equals his best start to a season from 2006
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Indian Wells at Unibet > live streaming > tennis
Roger Federer (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Roger Federer equalled his best ever start to a season on Thursday night in Indian Wells, securing his 16th straight win as he beat Hyeon Chung to advance into the semi-finals.

Watch and bet on tennis live from Indian Wells online at Unibet > live streaming > tennis.

Twelve years after first going 16-0 to start a season as a 24-year-old, the ageless Federer has repeated the feat as a 36-year-old, conquering the rising Chung 7-5 6-1 as he went one step closer to defending his BNP Paribas Open title in Indian Wells. It’s a truly staggering achievement that highlights Federer’s incredible longevity in the sport, with the Swiss legend also notching up his 10th consecutive win at Indian Wells after he picked up the Masters 1000 silverware 12 months ago.

Furthermore, Federer has won 14 of his 16 matches in straight sets and hasn’t dropped a set so far in returning to the Indian Wells semi-finals. It begs the question, can anyone stop the great man in the Californian desert over the next couple of days?

Roger Federer (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Juan Martin del Potro seems to be the only man showing signs that he could perhaps challenge Federer if he ends up making the final. Taking the towering Argentine out of the equation, Federer holds a collective 27-3 record against the remaining men left in the draw, Milos Raonic, Sam Querrey, Philipp Kohlschreiber and his semi-final opponent Borna Coric.

All three of those defeats came against Raonic, but the big-serving Canadian has barely played over the last six months and has somewhat fortunately come through the Indian Wells draw to make the quarter-finals, only needing to win two matches against the inexperienced Felix Auger-Aliassime and Joao Sousa. Raonic is nowhere near the level he was when he beat Federer in Bercy 2014 and twice in 2016 at Brisbane and Wimbledon, with Federer 1-0 over Coric, 3-0 against Querrey and a commanding 13-0 vs Kohlschreiber - along with 10 more wins over Raonic.

That leaves del Potro as the only man who stands a somewhat decent chance of becoming the first man to beat Federer in 2018 at Indian Wells. The 2009 U.S. Open champion holds six victories over the World No. 1 and has the weapons required to trouble Federer. However, del Potro has played a lot of tennis recently, coming into his quarter-final with Kohlschreiber on an eight-match winning streak after winning the Acapulco title. He rarely played this much consecutive tennis over the last eight years, so if does end up reaching the final, what kind of del Potro will we see?


Honestly, it’s not unrealistic to think Federer could go unbeaten into the clay season, with the likes of Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka all injured for the upcoming Miami Masters, while Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov, Marin Cilic and basically everyone else near the top of the rankings doesn’t have great form on the board at the moment.

And, if Federer decides to skip the clay season like he did in 2017, he will be back for Halle and Wimbledon on grass - and would be the heavy favourite to win those two tournaments again. Which means there’s a very real chance Federer could stay unbeaten until the tour rolls back around to North America again in July for the start of the U.S. Open Series.


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Roger Federer earns 16th straight win to equal best ever start to a season - Can anyone stop the Swiss legend at Indian Wells?

Roger Federer equalled his best ever start to a season on Thursday night in Indian Wells, securing his 16th straight win as he beat Hyeon Chung to advance into the semi-finals.

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