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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.

(15) Marion Bartoli d. (23) Yanina Wickmayer 6-1; 6-3.

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Wickmayer was doomed from the start. If her double fault that gave Bartoli the first game of the match didn’t seal her fate, the final one she made in the first set did so giving Bartoli the first set 6-1 and momentum into the second.

“Just one of those days I guess,” Wickmayer said. “I just didn’t get into the match. I was down two-love and never really got the chance to get in.”

For Bartoli who was having stomach issues in her quarterfinal match against Ana Ivanovic, she was able to push through the pain.

“Today was better,” Bartoli said, “but still definitely not 100 percent.”

Bartoli did give Wickmayer hope to start off the second set when after a fourth deuce point she double faulted to give Wickmayer the early break.

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“My level dropped after the first set because… I didn’t have many fuel into my body to hang on,” Bartoli said. “But I stayed mentally very focused, and I stayed positive toward the end.”

Bartoli won the final three games of the second set to secure her berth in the finals against.

(2) Roger Federer d. (12) Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3; 6-4.

This match was all about who could create more shots. In the end it was Federer who prevailed.

“I don’t think he played his best match,” Federer said. “I was playing good at times, and so from that side I’m really pleased.”

Federer will face Djokovic in the men’s semifinals Saturday.

“It’s important to have the mindset and right game plan for tomorrow, and that’s what I will be thinking about tonight and tomorrow,” Federer said about preparing for his semifinal match.

“I won’t be chipping in the ball. I’ll definitely go after it. We always have a batter for court position. He’s a very good defensive player and attacking player too, so you’ve got to take it to Novak. He does the same to me.”

Roger Federer/Stanislas Wawrinka d. Rafael Nadal/Mark Lopez 7¬-5; 6-3.

Consecutive double faults by Nadal give Federer and Wawrinka the first set. Sailing wayward balls give Federer and Wawrinka the break in the sixth game of the second set for a 4-2 lead which they hold on to win the match.

“It was good fun,” Federer said. “I enjoyed it.”

Caroline Wozniacki d. Maria Sharapova 6-1; 6-2.

And to finish the streak of no matches going to three sets on Saturday, Wozniacki took advantage of all of Sharapova’s forehand errors to get an easy straight-sets win.

“I mean she played solid and I was really flat,” Sharapova said. “I didn’t execute and just rushed my shots a lot today.”

Wozniacki was quite pleased on the other hand.

“I definitely didn’t’ expect such a score, but I’m very pleased about the way I played and the way I got my tactics to work.”