Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic to play for BNP Paribas Open title

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Indian Wells, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Roger Federer will play for his fifth BNP Paribas Open title after beating Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov, 6-3, 6-1, in just 61 minutes in Saturday’s semifinal.

In the final, the former No. 1 will take on No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who defeated American John Isner, 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-1, in the other semifinal pairing.

The seventh-seeded Swiss converted on his first break point chance and closed out the opening set in 30 minutes with his sixth ace.

Federer then broke Dolgopolov to start the second set then consolidated the break by winning a 20-point fifth game, and closed out the match with a break at love.

“It feels good winning again here so many matches,” said Federer. “I think it’s nice winning anyway (smiling). It just solves a lot of problems and makes you feel better, happier.”

Federer has yet to drop a set this week, and extended his winning streak to 11 matches. He won his 78th title ahead of Indian Wells at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where he defeated Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals and Tomas Berdych in the final.

“I think the results are better than I thought they would be… so that’s very encouraging and super positive, really,” said Federer. “Now it’s just a matter of keeping that up, taking the right decisions not to overplay, not to underplay, and enjoy yourself.”

The 28th-seeded Dolgopolov had posted three straight wins over seeded players, including an upset of world No. 1 and defending champion Rafael Nadal in the third round, to reach his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semifinal.

Dolgopolov was attempting to become just the sixth player – and first outside the Top 30 – to defeat Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.

Djokovic will face Federer for a 33rd time in their head-to-head series. The Serbian trails 15-17, including a loss two weeks ago in the Dubai semi-finals, but won their one previous meeting in the Coachella Valley three years ago.

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