Federer, Djokovic advance to semis at Indian Wells
Saturday, March 19, 2011; 1:40 AM
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Roger Federer defeated Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the BNP Paribas Open semfinals on Friday, setting up a showdown with Novak Djokovic for the world's No. 2 ranking.
Federer is currently second behind Rafael Nadal in the ATP rankings, and Djokovic is third. Djokovic beat Richard Gasquet 6-2, 6-4 to improve to 16-0 this year and put himself in position to surpass Federer in the rankings.
"I didn't know it was the case coming into the tournament, and I feel like if you are playing a fellow top-five guy, it doesn't matter what's on the line," Federer said. "You just want to beat him, and it doesn't matter if it's the finals, semis, rankings involved."
Federer is 18-2 this year, with one tournament win in Doha. Djokovic won titles at the Australia Open and Dubai, where he beat Federer in the final. His last loss came against Federer in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour finals in London in November.
"I have a great record against fellow top-10 players, and that's what kind of gets you going," Federer said.
Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro will play in Saturday's other semifinal. Between them, Nadal, Federer and Djokovic have won six of the last seven finals at Indian Wells. Federer is a three-time champion, Nadal has won twice and Djokovic once.
Federer met little resistance against Wawrinka in their all-Swiss quarterfinal. He improved to 8-1 in his career against Wawrinka, with whom he teamed to beat Nadal and Marc Lopez 7-5, 6-3 in a doubles semifinal.
"I was down break points first game, and you don't know how it goes from there if he breaks. I know the danger," Federer said. "There are no secrets out there with Stan. It makes it really difficult playing a good friend like him."
Djokovic has also been on a roll during the two-week tournament, losing 12 games in eight sets.
"Confidence plays a very important role in the life of a tennis player. So if you can roll on that run and try to use that confidence you can have a lot of success and you can really play well," he said.
"I do feel really comfortable on the court and am trying to use that confidence because I know that it can easily change. It's a very mental game."
On the women's side, 15th-seed Marion Bartoli became the first Frenchwoman to reach the singles final at Indian Wells, defeating No. 23 seed Yanina Wickmayer 6-1, 6-3.