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BNP Paribas Open: A Straight Forward Affair

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Out in the Southern California desert, the women's semifinals, men's quarterfinals and men's doubles semifinals were completed at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

(3) Novak Djokovic d. (18) Richard Gasquet 6-2; 6-4.

The day started out with a pretty sloppy game between the Australian Open champion Djokovic and Frenchman Gasquet. Gasquet in both sets broke out to a 2-0 lead, but Djokovic charged his way back to take a straight-sets win.

“I try to get out of trouble,” Djokovic mused. “I was behind, break down, but I managed to make the crucial break and come back to the match.”

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When down Djokovic relied on flattening out his forehand and overpowering Gasquet.

“I can flatten it out a little bit and take the charge of the shorts balls that I have,” Djokovic said. “On the slower hard courts, it’s a very important shot. It puts your opponent off balance, and I’m feeling it really well in the last three months.”

For Gasquet his downfall was his serve.

“I was not following through on my serve,” Gasquet conceded after the match. “That’s why he broke me a lot of times.”

And Gasquet was very complimentary of Djokovic’s return game.

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“The return of Novak is incredible,” Gasquet said. “Compared to Rafa [Nadal] and Roger [Federer], he has the best return.”

What didn’t help Gasquet was playing defensively most of the match usually standing miles behind the baseline. Also Djokovic had plenty of chances to put away Gasquet early, but errors plagued his game.

“I was aware of the quality of my opponent today,” Djokovic said.

Djokovic will play Federer in one of the men’s semifinal matches on Saturday.