Djokovic sets up mouth-watering Federer clash

Djokovic sets up mouth-watering Federer clash

Wozniacki crushes Sharapova to enter final against Frenchwoman Bartoli

Crown beckons: Caroline Wozniacki celebrates her victory over Maria Sharapova. AFP

Third-ranked Djokovic and three-times Indian Wells champion Federer will compete on Saturday for a spot in the final of the elite ATP Masters 1000 event, a showdown to savour for the fans at the state-of-the-art California desert venue.

Djokovic extended his perfect record this season to 16-0 with a 6-2, 6-4 quarterfinal victory over Frenchman Richard Gasquet while Federer brushed aside his fellow Swiss and doubles partner Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-4.

Although Gasquet broke Djokovic in the second game of each set, the Serb swiftly regained control and capitalised on a rising tally of unforced errors by his pressured opponent to triumph in one hour 35 minutes.

"It's been the best period of my tennis career the last three months, winning a grand slam, the Davis Cup and playing really well here at Indian Wells," Djokovic said courtside after ousting Gasquet.

Gasquet, who upset eighth-seeded American Andy Roddick to reach the last eight at Indian Wells, said he continually struggled with Djokovic's return of serve which he rated the best in the men's game.

Federer improved his win-loss record this season to 18-3 after a commanding display against Wawrinka, registering his eighth victory over his compatriot in nine meetings.
Federer broke Wawrinka once in each set to book his place in the last four against Djokovic where he said the world number two ranking would have no bearing on his approach.

"I feel like if you are playing a fellow top-five guy, it doesn't matter what's on the line,' the Swiss master added.

Saturday's first semifinal will pit Spanish world number one Rafa Nadal against Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, each of them advancing to the last four on Thursday.

Wozniacki vs Bartoli

Top seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and 15th-seeded Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli advanced smoothly to the final of the Indian Wells WTA tournament with commanding victories on Friday.

Runner-up here last year, Wozniacki outslugged Russian Maria Sharapova from the baseline 6-1, 6-2 after Bartoli had shrugged off the lingering effects of a stomach bug with a 6-1, 6-3 demolition of Belgian Yanina Wickmayer.

World number one Wozniacki, making very few mistakes against a harder hitting opponent in their evening encounter, broke an error-prone Sharapova three times in each set to triumph in 80 minutes at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

"I played very well tonight," the 20-year-old Dane said courtside after reaching her third consecutive WTA final this year. "It is always tough against Maria and it was very important that I kept my feet moving.

Bartoli broke a listless Wickmayer five times in dazzling afternoon sunshine to claim a lopsided victory in 85 minutes.

The Frenchwoman squealed in delight after hitting a backhand winner down the line to beat her 23rd-seeded opponent for a third time in three meetings.

Sania in final

India’s Sania Mirza and Russian Elena Vesnina cruised into the final of the women’s doubles event after scoring 6-0, 6-4 victory over Daniela Hantuchova and Agnieszka Radwanska. In the title clash scheduled for Saturday, they will take on the American combine of Bethanie-Mattek Sands and Meghan Shaugnessy.

Hiwever, it was curtains for the Indo-Pak express of Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, the duo suffering upset defeat at the hands of Belgian Xavier Malisse and Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in the men’s doubles semifinals.

There was not much difference between the two sides but the Ukrainian-Belgian pair managed to win 6-3, 3-6, 10-8.