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Flu bug sweeps around Indian Wells

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Originally published on: 12/03/12 09:59

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal coasted through to the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday but a flu bug wreaked havoc on both the men’s and women’s draws at the Indian Wells event over the weekend.

At last count, seven players have been forced to withdraw or retire from the event as a result of a virus that has hit California square in the stomach over the past month. Vera Zvonareva, Gael Monfils, Vania King and Juergen Melzer all pulled out on Sunday, joining Philipp Kohlschreiber, Andreas Seppi and Magdalena Rybarikova in dashing for the bathroom (if King’s tweet was anything to go by). “Just spent one of the worst nights of my life (gruesome details) fever, vomiting, diarrhea.. all at the same time… caught a bug from someone,” tweeted the 23-year-old on Sunday.

Three times a champion in Indian Wells – in 2004, 2005 and 2006 – third seed Roger Federer also had to fight off sickness but admitted he was not the worst affected of his family after defeating wildcard Denis Kudla 6-4 6-1 in 57 minutes. “We are fighting something of our own in our family,” said Federer, whose wife and twin daughters are with him in Indian Wells. “I have a bit of a combination. Not a terrible temperature but I have some things going on. I am the best off in the family. The rest of them are struggling much more.”

Federer faces Milos Roanic, for the first time in his career, in round three after the Canadian defeated Carlos Berlocq in straight sets. “I’m looking forward to that match,” said the Swiss. “He’s a good player and up and coming. Sometimes it can help and sometimes it cannot help to have never played a guy before.”

Rafael Nadal had no problem in that department, beating 24-year-old Leonardo Mayer 6-1 6-3 in their first career meeting, not to mention his first match since losing the near-six hour Australian Open final in January. “It’s fantastic. I am happy to start with a victory,” said the world No.2. “I am taking it day by day. It’s not easy to be back after a while without competition. I started the match very focused, very aggressive. Today the only thing I can say is I’m very happy.”

Defending champion Novak Djokovic also rolled through to round three, beating Andrey Golubev, who had beaten his younger brother Marko in the first round in Dubai a fortnight previously, 6-3 6-2.

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