• Indian Wells

Federer and Wawrinka advance in doubles

ESPN staff
March 8, 2014
McEnroe defends criticism that top players no longer play doubles matches

Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka filled their time off Friday as the opening round of men's singles concluded by winning their doubles match at Indian Wells.

The Swiss pair, who won gold at the 2008 Olympic Games, played in the new 8,000-seat Stadium 2, and emerged with a 6-2 6-7(4) (10-6) victory over Rohan Bopanna of India and Pakistan's Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi.

"I don't know if it was sold out, but it felt like very, very full," said Federer, a four-time singles champion at Indian Wells.

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"You're not probably going to achieve that on centre court [where capacity is 16,100] for a doubles. But that was a perfect setup, a feeling, and we can thank the tournament and [owner] Larry Ellison for building such a court so quickly.

"It's nice to see the game grow and seeing people coming out and enjoying it. It's great. I really had a great time out there with Stan today."

Wawrinka, who won his maiden grand slam in Melbourne in January, was asked how it felt to be not only the world No.3, but the Swiss No.1.

"It's not the first time I have been asked that question," he joked. "But Roger is the greatest player of all time, so it doesn't matter."

He added: "It took me time to realise really what I did in Australian Open.

"Still when I'm saying that I won a grand slam it's still strange for me, but that's why it was good to be home during three weeks. It was good to be with the family, to take more time for myself."

Wawrinka's second-round opponent will be Ivo Karlovic of Croatia, and Federer will open his title bid against French qualifier Paul-Henri Mathieu. Both will play Saturday afternoon. Wawrinka, who is the No.3 seed, could meet No.7 Federer in the quarter-finals and top-seeded Rafael Nadal in the semis.

On Saturday night, Nadal takes on Radek Stepanek.

Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Juan Martin del Potro, Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are the other top-10 players competing in doubles.

Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka needed three sets to see off their opponents © Getty Images
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