Novak Djokovic downs Julien Benneteau, advance to semifinals

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Indian Wells, CA, United States (4E Sports) – World No. 2 Novak Djokovic defeated unseeded Frenchman Julien Benneteau, 6-1, 6-3, Friday to reach the semifinal of the BNP Paribas Open for the fourth straight year.

The win over Benneteau was the sixth straight for Djokovic after losing to the Frenchman here eight years ago when he was still 18 years old.

Djokovic also defeated Benneteau on his second visit to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in 2007, conceding just four games to win their Round of 16 clash. He went on to reach the final, and finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal.

Since then, Djokovic has added two BNP Paribas Open titles to his collection, triumphing in 2008 and 2011.

Djokovic will look to reach the final for a fourth time when he takes on the winner between 12th-seeded American John Isner and 20th-seeded Latvian Ernests Gulbis.

The 32-year-old Benneteau was contesting his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final, and had recorded a Top 10 win over fellow Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round.

Meanwhile, second seeds Alexandr Peya and Bruno Soares ended Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka’s doubles run, defeating the Swiss duo 6-4, 6-1, to set up a 1-2 final with top seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan.

The Austrian-Brazilian duo broke Federer’s serve to clinch the opening set and won six straight games to close the semi-final match.

Peya and Soares were finalists in January in Doha and Auckland, and will look to win their ninth title overall and second at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament.

They won their first last August in Montreal in between losses to the Bryans in the Masters 1000 finals at Madrid and Paris.

Peya and Soares’s lone victory against the Bryans came in last year’s Valencia final, a match they won 13-11 in the tie-break.

Federer and Wawrinka had been looking to reach the Indian Wells final for a second time, following their runner-up finish to Alexandr Dolgopolov and Xavier Malisse in 2011.

Federer, a four-time singles champion at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, will face Dolgopolov in the semifinals Saturday.

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