The crucial matches are coming up on Sunday night, when no.1 men’s seed Novak Djokovic will try to defend his 2014 title against the highly competitive and no.2 seed Roger Federer in last year’s rematch. After Canada’s Milos Raonic broke the Big-Four party by defeating Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinal, it was the turn of Andy Murray on Saturday, who couldn’t stand against the ruthless Djokovic. The world no.1 Djokovic advanced to his fifth BNP Paribas Indian Wells Open final on Saturday with a clinical 6-2, 6-3 showing against no.4 seed Murray. Raonic’s upset victory celebrations lasted just one day as he succumbed against Roger Federer’s masterly game. Federer required just two breaks of serve against Raonic to clinch a 7-5, 6-4 win. The 40th edition of BNP Paribas Open is certain to end on a historic note as a 4-times title winner will be playing against 3-time winner. Whichever way the result goes, some new record will definitely be broken as the two tennis greats of the Modern Era would be sharing 8 titles between the two of them in 40 years of the event at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. After making an emotional return to Indian Wells after 14 years, top seed and world no.1 Serena Williams’ right-knee injury forced her to withdraw from BNP Paribas Open on Friday. That gave a walkover to Simona Halep and the Romanian will take on Serbia’s Jelena Jancovic, who came through after a hard-fought three-set semifinal victory against Germany’s Sabine Lisicki. Thus, of the fourth finalists on Sunday, two come from Serbia and that is a matter of great pride for the Serbian nation.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic had an extremely easy semifinal against the lackluster Andy Murray. After coming through impressively in the tournament until the semifinal, the Scot lost his foot-hold in the match against world’s no.1 player. Murray kept struggling with his service and mistimed several shots in the 88-minute match. Murray could only get 41% of his first serve coming good and that allowed fullest advantage to Djokovic as he broke the Scot’s service three times in the first set. In the second set too, the Serb continued to dominate Murray, who failed to raise his game. The scot lost his service in the second and squandered two break-of-serve chances as Djokovic raced to a 4-1 lead. After saving one match point, Murray threw in the towel as the Serb emerged victorious at 6-2, 6-3.
Fresh from his dominant 6-4, 6-0 quarterfinal victory over Tomas Berdych, no.2 seed Roger Federer faced Canada’s Milos Raonic in the other semifinal. The Swiss has been so dominant in the 2015 Indian Wells Masters that he did not drop a set in any of his matches. On Saturday, Federer needed just two breaks of serves against Raonic as he continued with his great showing in the tournament. It was a business like Federer against the Canadian, who lost his service game late in the first set to yield at 5-7. In the second set, Federer achieved the break early and kept holding his service to win the semifinal 7-5, 6-4. Raonic admitted after the match that he found difficult to get going against the vastly superior game of his celebrated opponent.
Now Federer and Djokovic will play the 2014 final all over again in 2015. It will also be the second time in the 2015 season that the two tennis greats will be meeting each other. In their first meeting at Dubai, Federer had taken the title and Djokovic will be looking for a pay back.
In the women’s final, Jelena Jankovic is making her return after five years to take on Romania’s no.3 seed Simona Halep. The Serb woman rallied in her semifinal match against Sabine Lisicki of Germany after dropping the first set. Then Jelena raised her game to clinch the next two sets and defeated the German 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. For Halep, the entry to the final was a walk-over as Serena Williams pulled out just before the Friday’s match due to a knee injury. Serena had been experiencing a sharp pain during practice sessions and despite the pain-killing medications, the pain continued and Serena decided she was not fit enough to play. The Indian Wells Masters had acquired added importance this year, when the 33-year old Serena announced her comeback after a break of 14 years.