SharapovaWhen Roger Federer hangs his boots, he will go down in tennis history as arguably the best men’s tennis player, several notches above his contemporaries and predecessors. There is nothing that he has not achieved in his decade-and half long tennis career. On Wednesday, Federer’s already heavily ornamented cap got another feather, when he beat USA’s Jack Sock and logged his 50th win at Indian Wells. Not that it was so surprising because the big Swiss has already won the title on four previous occasions and now he is in the quarterfinals but at 33 and still going strong is a huge credit for the Swiss. With Federer, the big four have already made it to the round-of-eight and out of them top seed Novak Djokovic and no.4 seed Andy Murray have since reached the semifinals as well. For the other two semifinal spots, Federer will take on ninth seed Tomas Berdych and Rafael Nadal will clash with no.6 seed Milos Raonic. Among the most notable seed to crash out of the tournament was the no.5 seed Kei Nishikori, who lost to Feliciano Lopez in the fourth round. Another casualty was Maria Sharapova among women. The no.2 seeded Russian lost to 2014 champion Flavia Penetta in three sets in her fourth round match. Earlier Canadian sixth seed Eugenie Bouchard also lost to Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko in a fourth round match. But Serena Williams and Simona Halep have stayed on course to clash in the semifinal on Friday night. In the other women’s semifinal match Serbian Jelena Jancovic will play against Germany’s Sabine Lisicki, who defeated defending champion Flavia Penetta in a tough three-setter.


The BNP Paribas Indian Wells Masters Tennis tournament has been fortuitous for the big four of men’s tennis, all of whom have progressed merrily through the event and made it to the quarterfinals. Two of them; Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have even made it to the semifinals. The other two will strive to enter the last four on Friday night. In his fourth round match on March 19, Rafael Nadal scored a convincing 6-2, 6-4 victory over the no.13 seed Frenchman Gilles Simon without breaking sweat. As for Roger Federer, despite a sluggish start, he also scored a 6-3, 6-2 straight sets win over America’s Jack Sock. Federer’s victory also marked his 50th match win in the Indian Wells Masters ever since he began coming here over 10 years ago. Now while Nadal will face Canadian sixth seed Milos Raonic, Federer will play against Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych.

Raonic was too good in his 6-3, 6-2 win against 17th seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo while 9th seeded Berdych reached the quarterfinals after defeating compatriot and no.27 seed Lukas Rosol 6-2, 4-6, 4-6. In their fourth round matches earlier, Djokovic had beaten beaten USA’s John Isner 6-4, 7-6 while Murray had accounted for Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-3. Men’s single draws’ biggest surprise was the defeat of Kei Nishikori, when the fifth seeded Japanese was done in by the 12th seed Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 7-6.

Among women; no.1 seed Serena Williams and no.3 Simona Halep have progressed to the semifinal stage, where they will clash with one another for a place in the final. In the other semifinal, Serbia’s Jelena Jancovic will take on the Germany’s Sabine Lisicki. Serena’s progress is being watched with great interest after the world no.1 returned to Indian Wells after 14 years. Her dropping a set in the fourth round match against compatriot Sloane Stephens made more news on March 18 than anything else. However, the world no.1 won 7-5, 6-3 in her quarterfinal match against the Swiss woman Timea Bacsinszky. Halep found the going a bit difficult as she lost the first set in her quarterfinal against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro before bouncing back to take the next two for a 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 win. Serena’s semifinal entry was a momentous occasion for American tennis fans, who had not seen a US woman in semifinals since 2005, when Lindsay Davenport had beaten Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-0. This year however, Sharapova was shocked by the no.15 seed and 2014 champion Flavia Pennetta in the fourth round played on March 18. Maria won the first set 6-3 but lost the next two 3-6, 2-6 to make way for Pennetta. The Italian woman, however, crashed out in her quarterfinal against an inspired Sabine Lisicki, who came through after a hard-fought three set match that went in the German’s favor at 6-4, 6-7, 7-6. For a place in the final, Lisicki will clash with no.18 seed Jelena Jancovic, who stopped the dream run of Eugenie Bouchard’s conqueror, Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko. The Serb made her semifinal entry with an impressive 6-1, 6-1 victory over Tsurenko.