The 2015 edition of Indian Wells, a Masters Series 1000 event on the ATP Tour, is down to semifinalists in California. The last two days of tennis featured the four quarterfinal matches with some blockbuster action scheduled for this weekend.
The first quarterfinal, which was played on Thursday, saw Andy Murray defeat Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4. Murray, who has had some poor losses on tour recently, has so far lived up to his billing in Indian Wells. However in the next round the Scot has drawn Novak Djokovic, a player who received some draw luck in the quarters.
Djokovic was supposed to face Bernard Tomic in the round of eight however the young Aussie did not contest the quarterfinal. Accordingly, Djokovic advanced to the semis without having to labour on court on Thursday. That should give him a bit of an edge over Murray as Djokovic enters the final four on several day’s rest.
In other quarterfinal play, Roger Federer continued his hot streak. The Swiss had drawn Tomas Berdych in the round of eight, a player that has given the Swiss Maestro some trouble at times. However Federer had no trouble with the Czech No. 1 on Friday, defeating Berdych 6-4, 6-0 to move into the semifinals.
Next up for Federer is a match-up against an improving Milos Raonic. The Canadian, the only surprise semifinalist in Indian Wells this year, shared a draw to the semifinals with Rafael Nadal. Due to that, most would have picked the Spaniard to survive to the final four however Raonic, in earning his first win over Rafa, saved a trio of match points before coming back to defeat Nadal 4-6, 7-6(10), 7-5 in another quarterfinal on Friday.
After the match Raonic spoke of how he handled the match-saving scenarios:
“At the moments when I was playing those match points, it didn’t really feel like match points,” Raonic claimed. “It was just like another point that I was trying to get through.”
Raonic, who will not have much time to savour his victory, has not done well against Federer in their previous meetings. Saturday will mark their tenth encounter on tour with the Swiss winning every one of those encounters except for one. However fans of the Canadian’s will ground some optimism in the fact that Raonic’s lone victory over Fededrer did come in a recent match.
Although Murray and Raonic are capable of beating the top players on tour, with Djokovic entering the semifinals well rested and with Federer owning a sharply one-sided record against Raonic heads-up, the 2015 BNP Paribas Open may very well feature a World No. 1 vs. World No. 2 final on Sunday.
The order of play for Saturday is as follows:
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
ATP –  Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs  Andy Murray (GBR)
ATP –  Milos Raonic (CAN) vs  Roger Federer (SUI)