Second-seeded Novak Djokovic reached his fourth BNP Paribas Open final after prevailing in a closely fought battle against home crowd favorite John Isner and will be looking to complete a treble of Indian Wells trophies in the Sunday’s heavyweight clash with Roger Federer.
Check out the Federer vs Djokovic Indian Wells Final Preview
The twelfth seed US player missed a great opportunity to claim the opener as he was holding a triple set point at 5-4, yet Novak served his way out of trouble and stunned the 2012 runner-up in the subsequent game to break the deadlock before wrapping up the set. The American then found himself under immense pressure in the closing stages of the second set as Nole served for the match two times in a row, but Isner weathered the storm both times to squeeze into the tie-break. He did not put a foot wrong in the breaker and clinched it confidently to force a decider. However, the third set has turned out to be a one-man show with Djokovic racing to a double break lead and landing a spot in the final by holding to love. End score: 7-5, 6-7 (2), 6-1.
“I thought I returned really well today and allowed myself to have a bunch of opportunities on his service games,” said Djokovic. “Then twice I had chance to finish it out and I played two bad games and he played an incredible tiebreaker. And when you get to the tiebreaker with John Isner, whoever you are, you’re not a favourite (smiling). I just tried to hang in there, stay mentally tough when I lost the second set, and played a great third.”
The seventh seed Swiss had a much calmer afternoon on Stadium 1 as he needed merely an hour to send home the surprise semi-finalist Aleksandr Dolgopolov. The 28th-seeded Ukrainian posed no real threat in either of the sets and was broken four times without ever producing a break point himself. FedEx was especially dominant in the set number two where he seized the opponent’s serve on three occasions to seal an emphatic 6-3, 6-1 victory. Roger will be delighted over a 72% first serve accuracy, whilst only 39% of his rival’s serves were on target. The Swiss Maestro scored 7 aces to Dolgopolov’s 2 and dropped only a couple of points on second serve. Federer and Djokovic have not met in Indian Wells final yet.
“I think the results are better than I thought they would be… so that’s very encouraging and super positive, really,” said Federer. “Now it’s just a matter of keeping that up, taking the right decisions not to overplay, not to underplay, and enjoy yourself. Because at the end of the day, it’s also very important.”