• ATP Tour

Federer triumphant after earthquake & back injury

ESPN staff
March 12, 2013
Roger Federer's serve has not been up to its usual standards at the start of 2013 © AP

Defending champion Roger Federer beat Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-3 6-1 in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Monday, with the Swiss star tweaking his back near the end of the match.

Federer earned his 890th career ATP Tour victory, joining Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Guillermo Vilas as the only men to have won at least that many matches in the Open era.

World No. 2 Federer is seeking his first tournament title of the year at an event where he has won four championships and has a 41-8 career record. He now has Tuesday off to give his back a rest.

"I'm not too worried. I have gone through it so many times where you feel a little tweak," he said. "Happened during grand slams, during tournaments, in practice. It's just something you learn to deal with."

Prior to Federer's victory, a 4.7 magnitude earthquake struck at 9.55am near Indian Wells. It occurred before the day's matches had begun, although the Indian Wells Tennis Garden was busy with fans and workers, many of whom said they felt a strong jolt.

Federer, who outclassed Dodig in all areas and dictated the tempo of the match, ran out of the house where he is staying during the tournament.

"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," he said.

"It was a very strange feeling to have because you see the windows shaking and you look up and realise you're under a structure. It was quite scary for a second there."

The Swiss now meets compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka in round four. Wawrinka was a 6-4 7-5 winner over Lleyton Hewitt.

This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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