36-year-old Swiss superstar Federer was into the final in Indian Wells for the fourth straight time, having missed the event in 2016.
The No. 8 won the first five points of the third set tiebreaker, then closed it out when Federer missed a forehand long, ending a two hour, 42-minute marathon contest on the main stadium court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Federer and Chung last played in the Australian Open semi-finals, when the South Korean was forced to retire trailing 6-1, 5-2 because of blisters on his left foot. His forehand pulled Chardy completely off the court, and Federer hit a crosscourt backhand victor off Chardy's return. "But I'm looking forward to winning my first [Masters] here", del Potro said. "I just didn't do what I needed to do".
The quick win was a much-need result for Del Potro, who struggled in his path to the final against other veteran players.
Del Potro followed and solved the drop-shot riddle of Philipp Kohlschreiber with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win, his seventh in nine tries against the German.
"He plays similar to Chung", Federer said.
"I knew that I lost to him three times in a row, you know, and in the past, I never played good against him, so obviously it was not easy", Coric said. "Jeez, I just tried to think back at the French Open semis, US Open finals, Olympic semis, Basel finals".
Prediction: Federer is brimming with confidence. After falling to Del Potro in the season's first Masters 1000 final, Federer spoke at length about his attitude.
Halep, Osaka reach semi-finalsWORLD No 1 Simona Halep punched her ticket to the Indian Wells semi-finals with a 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 win over Croatia's Petra Martic. The 29-year-old del Potro, riding a 10-match winning streak of his own after winning at the Mexican Open earlier this month, has lost 18 of his 24 meetings with Federer, including five of their last six matches. "I was down twice a break in the third, I was down a break in the second". But I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you're betting against Federer in his current form, you're not very bright. "I see the positives at the end of the day". "I made the right choices all the time", Coric said. "I broke many times [4-of-5], and that was the key of the match".
The match appeared all but over in the third when a frustrated Coric double faulted to hand Anderson a break for a 4-2 lead but the world number 49 broke straight back and went on to force a tie-breaker. Del Potro brought up a match point on the Canadian's serve with a massive forehand and Raonic netted a backhand to send the sixth seed into the final.