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Tennis

Roger Federer needs three sets to advance at Indian Wells

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Roger Federer advanced to the quarterfinals after dropping a set to fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) -- Defending champion Roger Federer rallied for a 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-5 victory over Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open.

Wawrinka's consecutive forehand errors in the gathering dusk of an unusually hot day in the California desert closed out his 10th consecutive loss to Federer on hard courts. The temperature reached 96 degrees - nearly 20 degrees above normal - during the day.

Federer, a four-time champion at Indian Wells, is going for his first ATP Tour title since last August. The world's second-ranked player improved to 13-1 against the 18th-seeded Wawrinka, who was broken twice in the final set played in front of tennis great Rod Laver.

"I don't know what gets me through. Maybe it's the experience or maybe a bit more calm in those moments," Federer said. "Today I think I was a little lucky to come through it."

Federer was broken once in the third set after telling the chair umpire he didn't have enough time to challenge the call on his first serve. He lost that argument and the game, but broke Wawrinka right back to tie it 3-all. From there, both players held until Federer broke Wawrinka at love in the last game.

Federer has won 29 of 34 sets in their 15 career matches, with Wawrinka's lone win coming four years ago on clay in Monte Carlo.

Federer tweaked his back in his fourth-round match and was glad to have Tuesday off to recover.

"I played three sets over two hours, so I'm happy at what level I can compete," he said. "I'm hopeful that it's going to feel a bit better again tomorrow, another step forward."

Federer has won 29 of 34 sets in their 15 career matches, with Wawrinka's lone win coming four years ago on clay in Monte Carlo.

"I'm not the only guy who beat him only once. A lot of people never beat him. He's Roger. He's amazing player. He always find a way to win the match," Wawrinka said. "I was close, but not enough, and that's why I need to still go to practice and practice again."

Maria Kirilenko got by No. 5 seed Petra Kvitova 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the searing heat to reach the women's semifinals for the first time.

Kirilenko improved to 6-0 in three-set matches this year. Seeded 13th, the Russian is playing her first tournament since mid-February when she retired with a right shoulder injury in the first round at Doha.

Of the eight women's quarterfinalists, none has spent more time on court than Kirilenko, whose total match time approached nearly eight hours before her latest match. All four of her matches at Indian Wells have gone three sets.

On the men's side, No. 3 Andy Murray beat Carlos Berlocq 7-6 (4), 6-4 to advance to a quarterfinal against No. 7 Juan Martin del Potro, who routed No. 19 Tommy Haas 6-1, 6-2.

Berlocq complained to the chair umpire that Murray was taking too long between points, prompting Murray to protest the volume of Berlocq's grunting.

"It was extremely, extremely loud, more than what I have experienced from any other player on the tour," Murray said. "If it's going to be suggested that I am using gamesmanship by taking too long, then you can't be making noises like that on the court. It's annoying."

Berlocq said he didn't realize the sound would bother Murray.

"Well, yeah, but that's what all of the real grunters say," the Scotsman retorted.

No. 6 Tomas Berdych beat No. 10 Richard Gasquet 6-1, 7-5; No. 8 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga outlasted No. 17 Milos Raonic 4-6, 7-5, 6-4; and Kevin Anderson defeated No. 13 Giles Simon 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.

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