Federer, Azarenka advance at Indian Wells

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 12, 2013 at 12:01 am •  Published: March 12, 2013

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Defending champion Roger Federer beat Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-3, 6-1 in a third-round match at the BNP Paribas Open on Monday, with the Swiss star tweaking his back near the end of the match. Victoria Azarenka, the defending women's champion, needed three sets to move on.

Federer earned his 890th career ATP Tour victory, joining Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Guillermo Vilas as the only men to have won at least that many matches in the Open era. The second-ranked Federer is seeking his first tournament title of the year at an event where he has won four championships and has a 41-8 career record.

Federer was the highest-seeded men's player in action Monday. He has Tuesday off to give his back a rest.

"I'm not too worried. I have gone through it so many times where you feel a little tweak," he said. "Happened during Grand Slams, during tournaments, in practice. It's just something you learn to deal with."

Top-ranked Azarenka rallied to beat 28th-seeded Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 under the lights and improve to 15-0 this year. Azarenka's pal, musician Redfoo of LMFAO, cheered her on.

Azarenka said she wasn't feeling well and when the match ended she grabbed a bunch of tissues for her stuffy nose.

"I just wanted to go to sleep instead of playing tennis. I couldn't breathe and I was too stupid not to use a tissue," she said. "She really played well. She came out firing and playing so freely, going for every possible shot there was. I didn't adjust well."

A 4.7 magnitude earthquake struck at 9:55 a.m. near Indian Wells. It occurred before the day's matches had begun, although the Indian Wells Tennis Garden was busy with fans and workers, many of whom said they felt a strong jolt.

Federer ran out of the house where he's staying.

"I didn't know how long it was going to last, if it was going to get worse from there, or if the worst was already past," he said. "It was a very strange feeling to have because you see the windows shaking and you look up and realize you're under a structure. It was quite scary for a second there."

Fifth-seeded Rafael Nadal was on the massage table preparing for his match against Leonardo Mayer of Argentina when the quake hit.

"I was very scared," he said. "I think the massage table moves even worse."

The Spaniard said his legs were wobbling and even though it was his first earthquake it took him "probably a half-second" to realize what was happening.

After the excitement caused by the quake, Nadal didn't even get to play his match. Mayer withdrew because of a back injury.

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