Indian Wells: Nole vs Federer for finals and no.2 ranking!

Photo: Reuters

World no.3 Novak Djokovic continued great run of form with a 6-2, 6-4 win over no.18 seed Frenchman Richard Gasquet in 1 hour and 35 minutes on Friday to surge into the Indian Wells semi-finals for the third time in his career.

Djokovic, the 2008 Indian Wells champion, extended his winning streak to 16 matches in 2011.

An unforced error from Novak handed Gasquet an early break point opportunity in the second game, and he gave his serve away with a double fault. Nole quickly found his momentum and broke the Frenchman’s serve three times to take the set 6-2 in 44 minutes, winning six games in a row.

The start of the second set was the same as in the first, only this time Gasquet consolidated the break for 3-0 lead. The 23-year-old Belgrade native raised the level of his game again and broke his opponent’s serve twice for 5-3 lead. The Serb served out the set and match 6-4.

“I try to get out of trouble, that’s for sure,” said Djokovic. “He started off really well both sets. I was behind, break down, but I managed to make the crucial break and come back to the match. I felt the ball well, especially on the return games. First serve percentage was quite a little bit low, and then towards the end of the match was better.”

“Confidence plays a very important role in the life of a tennis player,” added Nole. “If you can roll on that run and try to use that confidence, then you can have a lot of success and you can really play well. That’s what it’s all about, my game these days. I do feel really comfortable on the court and am trying to use that confidence because I know that it can easily change. It’s a very mental game.”

Match statistics: aces (2-2), double faults (1-2), winners (28-16), unforced errors (26-22).

Djokovic, winner of the Australian Open and Dubai titles, next faces second seeded Roger Federer in attempt to reach his third final of the season. The Swiss beat his countryman Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-4.

Novak and Federer have met each other twenty one times before, with Djokovic winning eight of those clashes, including their two most recent in Melbourne and Dubai.

If Nole makes it to the final, he will take the no.2 ranking from Federer on Monday.

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