Roger Federer will try to avoid becoming Alexandr Dolgopolov's latest upset victim when they meet in the first of today's two men's singles semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Dolgopolov, a Ukrainian seeded 28th, upset the tournament's top seed, Spain's Rafael Nadal, Monday, and 10th-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic Thursday to advance to the semifinals of an Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour Masters 1000 tournament for the first time.
The seventh-seeded Federer has faced Dolgopolov only once before, in a first-round match of the 2010 Swiss Indoors Basel, when Dolgopolov retired from the match because of an injured right ankle when he was trailing, 6-4, 5-2.
The second semifinal will pit second-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia against 12th-seeded American John Isner in a rematch of their 2012 semifinal in the BNP Paribas Open Isner won, 7-6 (7), 3-6, 7-6 (5) to advance to his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final.
"Two years ago I took the court believing I could win that match, so it's much of the same here," Isner said after his 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) quarterfinal victory over 20th-seeded Ernests Gulbis of Latvia Friday.
"But I think I can draw a little bit from that in 2012. It's a good situation for me. I'd like to have the crowd on my side like I did two years ago. All that helps me so much. It's an advantage for me I think to play here at home. But at the same time, it's going to be very tough."
Djokovic called Isner "definitely not somebody you like to play in the big heat with such serve."
"It's very challenging because he doesn't miss his serve too much so you have to kind of be able to hold your composure from the first to the last point and be ready to play three tiebreaks," Djokovic said after Friday's 6-1, 6-3 quarterfinal victory over unseeded Frenchman Julien Benneteau.
Djokovic has won four of his six matches against Isner, including two of three last year.
The winners will meet in Sunday's final.
The women's singles players will be idle until they meet in Sunday's final. Italian Flavia Pennetta, the tournament's 20th seed, upset top-seeded Li Na of China, 7-6 (5), 6-3, in Friday night's second semifinal match, to earn a berth in the final against second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.
"I have to be really aggressive, but I can't rush too much because she's a wall," said Pennetta, who has lost four of her six matches against Radwanska. "I mean I have to make seven times the winners against her. But I played really well again her in Dubai (a 6-4, 6-1 victory last month), so I hope to play the same way this time."
The women's singles winner will receive $1 million and the runner-up $500,000.
The women's and men's doubles finals will both be played today. The top- seeded women's team of Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan and Shuai Peng of China will faced fifth-seeded Cara Black of Zimbabwe and Sania Mirza of India.
The men's final will match the American twins Bob and Mike Bryan, the world's top-ranked team, and the second-seeded team of Austrian Alexander Peya and Brazilian Bruno Soares.
Each winning doubles team will receive $258,000 and the runners-up $126,000.
—City News Service.