Wawrinka Marches On In The Desert

© Matt Hazlett/BNP Paribas Open

Third seed Stan Wawrinka defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-5, 6-3 on Monday to reach the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

Wawrinka stayed perfect against Kohlschreiber, improving to a 5-0 head-to-head mark as he created 10 break points, converting two of them for victory in 78 minutes, finishing with a trademark backhand winner on the line.

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The Swiss star is bidding to win his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown, adding to his 2014 Monte-Carlo crown. Wawrinka’s best result at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden is a pair of quarterfinal showings in 2008 (l. to Djokovic) and 2011 (l. to Federer).

"It was a really good match," said Wawrinka. "I'm very happy, in general. First set was not easy, but in general I'm happy with my game. I need to every time adjust a little bit in the return. It's not easy. But I was serving well. I think I'm moving better and better, and it's all positive so far.

"I'm just enjoying being back here, enjoying being back winning. I know I'm practicing and playing well. I know anything is possible. I'm focused match after match. It was only the second win since Australia. So today I'm really happy with the performance the way I was playing. Moving, also. I'm feeling good in my body, so that's the most important."

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The 31-year-old Wawrinka, who reached the Australian Open semifinals at the start of the year (l. to Federer in five sets), goes on to face lucky loser Yoshihito Nishioka, who saved one match point to upset Tomas Berdych.

Nishioka
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Belgium’s David Goffin edged Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6(3), 6-4 in one hour and 38 minutes, saving five of the seven break points he faced in the pair’s first meeting.

The 26-year-old Goffin, who made his Top 10 debut last month, improved to a 15-5 mark on the season. The right-hander was a quarterfinalist at the Australian Open (l. to Dimitrov) before finishing runner-up in Sofia (l. to Dimitrov) and Rotterdam (l. to Tsonga).

Goffin, a semifinalist in the desert last year (l. to Raonic), goes on to face Pablo Cuevas, who defeated Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-4 in 66 minutes. 

In the final match of the day, Gael Monfils brought his A-game as he dismissed former finalist John Isner 6-2, 6-4 in 69 minutes. The Frenchman was at his flamboyant best as he limited the big-serving Isner to only four aces and broke him three times from eight opportunities. He goes on to face Dominic Thiem.

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