BNP Paribas Open: Novak Djokovic to face Roger Federer in Indian Wells final
Last Updated: 16/03/14 10:03pm
Roger Federer: Took 61 minutes to reach Sunday's final
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will contest the Indian Wells final after recording contrasting semi-final victories during Saturday's action.
Federer moved within one win of scooping the hard court title for a fifth time after powering past Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3 6-1.
But second seed Djokovic was made to work much harder, overcoming a second set wobble to defeat local favourite John Isner 7-5 6-7 (2/7) 6-1.
Federer leads the head-to-head with Djokovic 17-15 and will take heart from his three-set victory over the Serb in Dubai on the same surface two weeks' ago.
Swiss 17-time Grand Slam champion Federer maintained his impressive start to the 2014 season by clinically ending Dolgopolov's career-best run in Masters 1000 events.
By reaching the semi-finals, Federer was assured of returning to the top five in the world rankings for the first time since September of 2013.
Not content with that feat, Federer landed 72 per cent of first serves as he swept Dolgopolov away in 61 minutes to reach the final.
For Djokovic, however, it was a much tougher route to the final.
A tightly-contested first set against big-serving Isner went his way after fighting back from 4-5, 0-40 to hold, break and then hold once more to break Isner's spirits.
A straight-sets victory looked inevitable when Djokovic broke to lead 5-4 in the second, however Isner broke for the first time and romped through the tie-break to take the match into a deciding set.
The physical battle was clearly taking its toll on 12th seeded Isner, who called the trainer out on numerous occasions for treatment on a leg injury.
Djokovic, however, remained strong and broke Isner's booming serve on three occasions before securing victory in over two hours.