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Women's Singles Semifinals to be Held Friday at BNP Paribas Open

The men's quarterfinals will conclude Friday with two afternoon matches.

The women's singles semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open will be held Friday night at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden while the men's quarterfinals will conclude with two afternoon matches.

Second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland will face sixth-seeded Simona Halep of Romania in the first semifinal, which will start no earlier than 6:30 p.m. Top-seeded Li Na of China will face 20th-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy in the second semifinal, which will start no earlier than 8:30 p.m.

Radwanska has won three of her five matches against Halep, but Halep has won the last two, including a 7-5, 6-2 victory in the semifinals of the Qatar Total Open last month.

Li has defeated Pennetta three of the five times they've met, including a 6-3, 6-2 victory in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in January.

Friday's men's quarterfinal matches will begin with second-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia facing unseeded Frenchman Julien Benneteau no earlier than 1:30 p.m. Djokovic has defeated Benneteau in five of their six meetings.

The Djokovic-Benneteau match will be followed by Friday's other men's quarterfinal, which will be between 12th-seeded John Isner, the last American remaining in the men's singles draw, and 20th-seeded Ernests Gulbis of Latvia. It will begin no earlier than 3:30 p.m.

The men's semifinals will be held Saturday and the men's and women's singles finals Sunday.

Men's singles quarterfinal play began Thursday with 28th-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine upsetting 10th-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic, 6-3, 6-4, and seventh-seeded Roger Federer defeating 17th-seeded South African Kevin Anderson, 7-5, 6-1.

Dolgopolov fell behind 3-0 in the second set, then broke Raonic's serve in the fifth and seventh games and held serve the final two games to close out the victory.

"I was quite fast today," Dolgopolov said Thursday after advancing to the semifinals of an Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour Masters 1000 tournament for the first time. "I was really happy with that.

"I was able to get more returns than usually you can against him. He serves really big and I knew I had to do that. I'm quite pleased how I anticipated on his serve and have seen the toss of the ball and was really, really concentrated to get those serves back."

Federer and Anderson remained on serve until the final game of the first set, which Federer won at love. Federer won the first five games of the second set, which he won in 23 minutes.

In women's quarterfinal play Thursday, Li was a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 winner over 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in a rematch of the Australian Open final and Pennetta defeated 17th-seeded Sloane Stephens, the last remaining American in the women's singles draw, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

Stephens took a 3-0 lead in the final set that was played amid a sand storm, then lost six of the next seven games.

Pennetta called the third set "a disaster for both of us."

"You try to do what's normally very easy for you and everything seems so difficult," Pennetta said.

Stephens said she "wasn't playing my best in the beginning."

"It was a bit up and down, but I just tried to battle and stay in there," Stephens said. "(In the) second set, (I) was playing better and better. Then the wind came, which was pretty unfortunate. I just tried to do my best and fight and battle for every point. It was unfortunate that I lost."


– City News Service.

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