Roger Federer Takes Down Borna Coric in Tough 2018 BNP Paribas Open Semi-Final

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2018

INDIAN WELLS, CA - MARCH 17:  Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a shot to Borna Coric of Croatia during the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 17, 2018 in Indian Wells, California.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Roger Federer had to dig deep to beat Croatia's Borna Coric in the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells on Saturday.

Coric fought hard to win the opening set, but Federer battled to overcome the youngster to reach his eighth final at the competition, winning 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

Tennis TV highlighted the winning moment:

The Swiss icon had a difficult start to proceedings as he failed to move through the gears against his eager opponent. Coric produced surprising power and took advantage of a below-par Federer.

The two battled to 5-5 in the first set, and fans were silenced as the elder statesman slipped towards losing the opener when the Croatian broke serve to go 6-5 up before calmly seeing out the set. 

INDIAN WELLS, CA - MARCH 17:  Borna Coric of Croatia serves in his semifinal match against Roger Federer of Switzerland during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 17, 2018 in Indian Wells, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty
Harry How/Getty Images

In the second set, the veteran finally started to test the technique of the youngster, and the complexion of the match began to change.

At 4-4, Coric finally lost his serve for the first time. Coric began to look to his coaching team for support while his opponent's intensity visibly rose, and Federer grabbed the set, winning 6-4.

With the scores level, the crowd expected Federer to impose his class, but Coric continued to achieve parity against the odds.

Both men lost their opening serves, and at 3-3, Coric broke Federer once again.

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

It appeared the tide had turned, but the world No. 1 showed all of his experience to stay in touch, and a costly double-fault from Coric saw Federer immediately break back. He then held serve to make it 5-4, and the youngster returned to his chair tired and emotionally drained.

Federer completed a compelling victory with a break to love, but there was no shame for Coric, who proved he could be a star of the future.

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