Indian Wells: The Alex and Roger Show

Roger Federer made quick work of Kevin Anderson in Thursday Night’s Quarterfinal on Day-11 of the BNP Paribas Open. On serve, up 6-5, the four-time Indian Wells Champ broke Anderson to take the first set and never looked back. He rattled off seven games in-a-row, then easily won the second (6-1) to reach tomorrow’s Semifinal. While he had no answers for the “new and improved Fedberg” last night, Anderson has to be happy with how he’s played over the past month: Finalist in Miami, Finalist in Acapulco, Doubles Title in Acapulco, Quarters in Indian Wells.

Roger will face Ukrainian Alex Dolgopolov next, who’s playing determined tennis. Now 15-7 on the season, he was a Finalist in Rio de Janeiro, a Semifinalist in Acapulco, secured his first win over Rafael Nadal here in desert, and had no trouble with the hard-serving Milos Raonic yesterday. Alex and Roger have only played once before, four years ago in Basel, where Alex retired down 4-6, 2-5. Does “The Dog” have it in him to slay another giant and reach his first Masters-1000 Final?

On the ladies side, Na Li won the rematch of the Australian Open Final, defeating Dominika Cibulkova in three-sets. Li was streaky during the match, falling apart in the second set; but she regained form in the third to reach Saturday’s Semifinal. In her post-match press-conference, Li said: “At least I’m still in the tournament. I think it’s still a little bit of a problem because my level cannot stay the same from the beginning to the end. At least I got information so I’ll take it.”

Stadium-1 enjoyed a minor dust storm during the third set of the Sloane Stephens vs. Flavia Pennetta Quarterfinal. After dropping the first set, Sloane scored a clutch break on Pennetta as Flavia served for the match, up 5-4 in the second. Stephens would go on to win the set 7-5. In fact, she won six consecutive games and went up 3-0 in the third. As the wind picked up and the dust swirled, Sloane would win only one more game in the deciding set. Flavia is 10-3 in 2014, with three additional qualifying wins in Dubai. She’s reached the Quarterfinals of both the Australian Open and Dubai. By reaching Saturday’s Semifinal in Indian Wells, it’s safe to say the struggles after wrist surgery may finally be behind her.

Both doubles Semifinals were thrillers on Thursday. After dropping the first set in a tiebreak, defending champions Bob and Mike Bryan launched a comeback to defeat Davis Cup teammates John Isner and Sam Querrey in a match tiebreak. The twins will face the winner of today’s Semifinal between Roger Federer / Stanislas Wawrinka and Alexander Peya / Bruno Soares – the first match on Stadium-1.

57-time titleist Cara Black, and 2011 BNP Paribas Open Doubles Champion (with Vesnina) Sania Mirza took-out Lucie Hradecka and Jie Zheng in the final match on Stadium-1 last night. They face the winner of Sam Stosur / Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Su-Wei Hseih / Shuai Peng – the only match that will be played on Stadium-2 today (4:00pm). In last night’s post match interview…

Me: “So what was the first event you guys played together?”
Cara: “Tokyo, last year.”
Me: “How’d that work out for you?”
Cara: “We won the title.”
Me: “So Sania, you then went on to Beijing – how’d you do there?”
Sania: “We won…but don’t jinx this!”

Last night’s Doubles Semifinal was the only match I worked last night; Thursday was a break from tennis for Stadium-2. My wife and I took the opportunity to enjoy some cooler temperatures and snow above 8-thousand feet at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Cool spot…so to speak. Here are some photos:

Men’s Singles Quarterfinal Results…

  • [7] R Federer (SUI) d [17] K Anderson (RSA) 75 61
  • [28] A Dolgopolov (UKR) d [10] M Raonic (CAN) 63 64

Men’s Doubles Semifinal…

  • [1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d J Isner (USA) / S Querrey (USA) 67(4) 61 10-7


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Women’s Singles Quarterfinal Results…

  • [1] N Li (CHN) d [12] D Cibulkova (SVK) 63 46 63
  • [20] F Pennetta (ITA) d [17] S Stephens (USA) 64 57 64

Women’s Doubles Semifinal…

  • [5] C Black (ZIM) / S Mirza (IND) d [8] L Hradecka (CZE) / J Zheng (CHN) 64 36 10-7


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There are six matches on the schedule for Day-13 of the BNP Paribas Open 2014: The remaining Singles Quarterfinal matches and remaining Doubles Semifinal matches.

STADIUM 1 start 11:45 am
ATP – R Federer (SUI) / S Wawrinka (SUI) vs [2] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA)
Not Before 1:30 pm
ATP – J Benneteau (FRA) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)
Not Before 3:30 pm
ATP – [12] J Isner (USA) vs [20] E Gulbis (LAT)
Not Before 6:30 pm
WTA – [6] S Halep (ROU) vs [2] A Radwanska (POL)
Not Before 8:30 pm
WTA – [1] N Li (CHN) vs [20] F Pennetta (ITA)

STADIUM 2 start 4:00 pm
WTA – [1] S Hsieh (TPE) / S Peng (CHN) vs [WC] S Kuznetsova (RUS) / S Stosur (AUS)