Indian Wells tennis fans denied a chance to see Roger Federer in action on Friday were treated instead to the Swiss great's ' talents' in the music department.
NY [U.S.], March 18: The much-anticipated duel between Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios in Indian Wells is off, as the Australian has withdrawn from the tournament after falling ill.
"At this stage we think it's food poisoning and I'm praying it's nothing more".
Federer, playing some of the best tennis of career at age 35, needed only 21 minutes to take the first set before winning a second-set tiebreak to set up an all-Swiss final in the California desert. "I don't take these decisions lightly, these are the matches we train for, but I'm in no fit state to take the court".
Federer is now one of the favourites to win the Indian Wells tournament after Novak Djokovic was beaten in the previous round by the now-withdrawn Kyrgios.
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"I'm sorry to the fans... but I have to put my health first and I hope you understand".
"To be back on court feeling normal again is so nice, you feel just happy and fresh and I think it translates also to my game".
However, his withdrawal in Indian Wells means Federer advances to the final four, where he will face either Jack Sock or Kei Nishikori. He takes a 19-3 head-to-head lead over Wawrinka into the final and has won their past three meetings, including a five-set battle in the Australian Open semifinals in January. A free spirit, with tennis to match, he has power, flair, showmanship and boldness-though his abandon has often brought errors, frustration and worse, including a brief ban a year ago for "poor effort".
Instead, the crowd was treated to an exhibition singles match between Vasek Pospisil and tournament director Tommy Haas.