He has lost three in a row against Federer since last getting the best of his fellow Swiss, most recently via a 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3 decision in the Australian Open semis.
Shortly afterwards, Australian tennis ace Nick Kyrgios withdrew from his highly-anticipated quarter-final showdown against the Swiss tennis ace due to illness. He then got the walkover into the semifinal, where he faced American Jack Sock.
Stan Wawrinka, US Open champion and losing semi-finalist against Federer in Australia-where he came within touching distance of victory-is a big-time player, a crowd-pleaser, the pin-up boy for late-bloomers, and he had survived a stern test against No8 seed Dominic Thiem to reach his first semi in the desert. However, the three-time Grand Slam champion was simply too strong, and he powered his way into his first Indian Wells final with a 6-3, 6-2 win.
"I think I definitely played great in the first set", the tournament website quoted Federer as saying.
Australian Kyrgios had beaten Djokovic in the quarterfinals in Acapulco nearly two weeks ago in their first career meeting, and repeated the feat Wednesday to reach the last eight, where he will face Federer. On the other hand, Sock outclassed fifth seed Kei Nishikori in a three-setter (6-3, 2-6, 6-2) in his quarter-final clash.
The pair have met at Indian Wells twice before - in 2011 and 2013, with Federer winning on both occasions; interestingly, Federer did not make the finals either time.
And their follow-up effort is not only much better, it comes with a short "videobomb" from Federer rival and 12-time grand slam victor Novak Djokovic.
There has been nothing good for Wawrinka on a hard court against Federer, and based on current form there is no reason think the tide will suddenly turn. So, for me, just because Novak might not play Miami and Andy is not, and I'm in the finals here, it doesn't change anything in my scheduling.
"In the second set, I had to rely a lot on my second serve", Federer said.
"The second set was more like what I expected the first set to be before the match", Federer said.
This January, Federer slipped past Wawrinka in five sets at the Australian Open semifinals. "Now I feel like I'm going out and playing relaxed, calm tennis, but on my terms". Federer is dominating the head-to-head series 19-3, including 14-0 on hard courts.