INDIAN WELLS – World number one Roger Federer extended his season win streak to 17 matches, securing a spot in the Indian Wells final by defeating Borna Coric 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday.
The 36-year-old Swiss superstar survived a stern test from world number 49 Coric but managed to hold on for a 17-0 record this year, surpassing his prior career-best calendar year start in 2006 when he opened with 16 wins.
The defending champion will be aiming for a record sixth Indian Wells title when he squares off against either Canadian Milos Raonic or sixth-seeded Juan Martin Del Potro in Sunday's championship match.
Federer clinched the match when Coric hit a shot wide. The ball was called out but Coric challenged and after the video review the original call was confirmed, handing the match to Federer.
Federer had not dropped a set (8-0) heading into the semi-final. But he looked out of sorts in the opening set as Croatia's Coric took it handily.
Federer's impressive start to the season remains well back of the record set by John McEnroe, who began the 1984 season by winning his first 42 matches, the longest winning streak to start a season in the Open Era.
Earlier this year, Federer defended his title at the Australian Open, picking up his 20th Grand Slam crown.
Last month, Federer claimed his 97th singles title with a victory at Rotterdam and regained the world number one ranking, becoming the oldest number one in ATP history.