Sat, March 19, 2011
Sports > Tennis & Golf

Federer, Djokovic meet again with ranking on line

2011-03-19 11:29:28 GMT2011-03-19 19:29:28(Beijing Time)

Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a shot to compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka during their BNP Paribas Open quarter-final match at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. Federer won 6-3, 6-4.AFP

INDIAN WELLS, California– World No. 2 Roger Federer will face reigning Australia Open champion Novak Djokovic in the Indian Wells semi-finals with the world No. 2 ranking on the line.

Three-time former winner Federer defeated his Swiss compatriot and doubles partner Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-4 to reach the round of four at the ATP Masters 1000 event, where he will face red-hot Serbian Djokovic, who beat Richard Gasquet of France 6-2, 6-4 on Friday.

"I have had a wonderful hardcourt swing," Federer said. "I had a good start to the year, a good six months. I am excited, pretty healthy and really motivated."

Federer set up match point with a thundering forehand down the line then clinched the win when Wawrinka punched a backhand wide, ending the 64-minute match on center court.

The Swiss pair are also teaming up in the doubles draw. No sooner had they finished their singles match then they had to get ready to return to the main stadium court, where they beat Spaniards Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez 7-5, 6-3 in the first match of the night session.

In their only previous meeting this year, Federer crushed Wawrinka in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open 6-1, 6-3, 6-3. He eventually lost to Djokovic in three sets in the semis and Djokovic went on to win the Aussie Open title.

Federer said after two matches on Friday he's ready to face Djokovic in what will be their third contest in the past three months.

"I won't be just chipping in the ball," Federer said. "I will go after it. You have to take it to Novak and I am sure he will do the same to me."

Federer's win not only sets up his first semi-final match against third seeded Djokovic since the Australian Open but the outcome will determine who stands higher in the rankings. Federer has a 13-8 career record against Djokovic.

World No. 3 Djokovic has been blitzing his opponents the last few months and is currently on an 18-match win streak dating back to last year's Davis Cup final.

Federer said winning matters the most to him and the ranking is just an added bonus.

"If you are playing a fellow top five guy I don't care what is on the line. I just want to beat him," Federer said.

Djokovic, 23, is the hottest player on the ATP Tour this year. Besides winning the Australian Open, Djokovic captured his 20th career singles title in Dubai.

In the women's competition, top seed Caroline Wozniacki blasted her way into the final by allowing three-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova just one service hold in a ruthless display.

World number one Wozniacki demolished her Russian opponent 6-1, 6-2 in front of a crowd of about 7,000 to set up a clash with France's Marion Bartoli.

"It was very important for me to play good defence today, because Maria is hitting the ball hard," Wozniacki said.

"But still, at the same time, you are not allowed to give her too many short balls and to let her dictate too much because then she's very dangerous. So it was important to keep depth to my shots and make her move."

Speaking about her opponent in Sunday's final, the 20-year-old said of Bartoli, who beat Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-1, 6-3: "Marion is a player who is also trying to play very aggressively, taking the ball early.

"She's not going to give me a lot of free points."

Wozniacki is in a rich vein of form, reaching her third straight final after winning in Dubai and finishing as runner-up at Doha.

Sharapova struggled hugely with her serve as she made eight double faults and won just 43 percent of her first serve points in the 80-minute night match.

"I didn't feel it quite that well today," said Sharapova.

The 23-year-old has not reached the same heights since she had shoulder surgery in 2008 but feels she is improving. She has been working with her coach to try and revamp her serve.

"I'm getting there," Sharapova said. "I'm working a little bit on the serve stance. I think little by little you eventually feel more confident.

Wozniacki has now reached her second straight final at Indian Wells, which is a WTA and ATP tournament. She lost last year to Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 6-4.

Bartoli, seeded 15th, hammered 10 aces on her way to victory over Belgium's Wickmayer in the other semi-final.

"I am so happy to be in the final because Indian Wells is one of my favorite tournaments. I played great even though I got tense on my serve in the second set," Bartoli said.


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