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Djokovic Wins Indian Wells Rematch Over Isner

Novak Djokovic celebrates a hard fought win against American John Isner at the semi-finals at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells Saturday, March 15, 2014. Credit: Jessica E. Davis
Novak Djokovic celebrates a hard fought win against American John Isner at the semi-finals at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells Saturday, March 15, 2014. Credit: Jessica E. Davis
World No. 2 Novak Djokovic prevailed over American John Isner in his semi-final Indian Wells rematch 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-1 to advance to Sunday's final.

Isner defeated Djokovic in a third set tie-break two years ago in Indian Wells.

"I just tried to hang in there, stay mentally tough when I lost the second set, and played a great third," Djokovic said.

Isner had three set points up 5-4 in the first, but Djokovic saved them all and then broke back taking control of the first set.

Late in the second set, neither player could hold serve as both Djokovic and Isner traded four consecutive breaks.

In the second set tie-break, Isner hit a stunning backhand to grab a mini-break and go up 2-0 early. The American easily won the tie-break cracking one of his eight aces.

"It's never easy to play John who is if not 'the' best, but definitely the top three best servers in the game," Djokovic said. "He has a great technique. So when he's using that height, the angles that he hits are incredible."

Djokovic kept fighting and took control in the third set after the trainer came out again to work on Isner's knee.

"It just got a little tight towards the end of that second set, and I wasn't really able to get the bend that I would like on my serve," Isner said.

By reaching the semi-finals, the North Carolina native is projected to break back into the ATP Top 10.

For Djokovic this will be the fourth Masters 1000 final he will play against Federer and the 33rd time they will meet overall. 

"Whenever we play each other it's always a huge challenge for both of us, and very few points can decide the winner," Djokovic said looking forward to the final. "I do not expect anything less tomorrow. I just hope for myself that I will be able to perform on a high level, because I'm going to need to do that in order to get a chance to win against him."

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