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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Lowdown: Roger Federer v Juan Martin del Potro in the ATP Indian Wells Masters final and all you need to know about the match-up

It will be the 25th meeting between the players when they take to the court in the final, which is expected to start around 1am on Monday UAE time.

Roger Federer goes for a sixth Indian Wells title against Juan Martin del Potro on Sunday. Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA Today Sports
Roger Federer goes for a sixth Indian Wells title against Juan Martin del Potro on Sunday. Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA Today Sports

Top seed Roger Federer will go for his sixth Indian Wells title against No 6 seed Juan Martin del Potro in Sunday's ATP Indian Wells Masters final in California.

Here is a rundown on what to watch for when the two men take to the court in a match that is due to start around 1am UAE time on Monday morning.

Route to final

Federer suffered a scare in Saturday's semi-final as he was a set and a break down to world No 49 Coric before fighting back to his 17th successive game in 2018.

Del Potro had a rather easier time in beating Milos Raonic in straight sets, but he had to come from a set down in both his last-16 match with Leonardo Mayer, and quarter-final with Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Roger Federer

1st round bye

2nd round Federico Delbonis 6-3, 7-6

3rd round Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 6-1

4th round Jeremy Chardy 7-5, 6-4

Quarter-final Chung Hyeon 7-5, 6-1

Semi-final Borna Coric 5-7, 6-4, 6-4

Juan Martin del Potro

1st round bye

2nd round Alex de Minuar 6-2, 6-1

3rd round David Ferrer 6-4, 7-6

4th round Leonardo Mayer 3-6, 7-6, 6-3

Quarter-finals Philipp Kohlschreiber 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

Semi-finals Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-3

Juan Martin Del Potro has never won the Indian Wells title. Paul Buck / EPA
Juan Martin Del Potro has never won the Indian Wells title. Paul Buck / EPA

Tournament history

Federer has won the Masters event five times in the past. Last year he beat Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 in the final, and he also prevailed in the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2012 final, and was also runner-up in 2014 and 2015.

He has won all five of his titles with straight sets victories in the final so he will fancy his chances of a sixth crown if he takes the opening set against Del Potro.

This will be Del Potro's second appearance in the final. He lost to Rafael Nadal in three sets in the 2013 final, having beaten on his route Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic to get there.

His best other run at the event was in 2011 when he reached the last four before losing to Nadal.

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Read more

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Match-up

It is 18-6 to Federer in past match-ups between the pair, and Del Potro has only won one of their six clashes since October 2013.

Del Potro has been known to cause Federer problems in matches in the past, most famously in beating the 20-time major winner at the US Open final in 2009. Then last September he beat him in the US Open quarter-finals giving Federer his only loss at a major in 2017.

But Federer has since beaten him twice. In the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters and then in the Basel final, with both victories being in three sets with Federer coming from behind after losing the first set.

This will only be their second meeting at Indian Wells. They met in the quarter-finals in 2012, with Federer dominating that match as he won 6-3, 6-2.

Season so far

Roger Federer has yet to lose in 2018. He won the Australian Open to achieve his 20th grand slam title in January, and then claimed the Rotterdam title in February, going back to world No 1 in the process.

Del Potro, the world No 8, is bidding for his second successive tournament win, having won in Acapulco, Mexico, in March, beating three fellow top 10 players in his run to the title.

He lost in the Auckland final in January to Roberto Bautista Agut and went only as far as the third round at the Australian Open before losing to Tomas Berdych.