Djokovic, Isner ease into Indian Wells semis

Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:25am EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Serbia's Novak Djokovic and American John Isner cruised into the last four of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells on Friday with straight-sets wins in the quarter-finals.

Djokovic hardly raised a sweat in the Californian desert as he eased to a 6-1 6-3 victory over Frenchman Julien Benneteau, before the towering Isner rode his booming serve to a 7-6(4) 7-6(3) win over Latvia's Ernests Gulbis.

Djokovic was not at his absolute best but was never in any real danger against the 32-year-old Benneteau, who beat him at Indian Wells eight years ago when the Serb was still a teenager.

Djokovic, 26, raced through the opening set in less than half an hour with two service breaks and four aces despite the windy conditions and an approaching sand storm.

The first six games of the second set all went with serve before Djokovic reeled off the last three in a row to seal a comfortable victory in less than 70 minutes.

He broke Benneteau for a 4-3 lead when the Frenchman double faulted, then again to wrap up the win when his opponent hit a forehand long and wide.

"I felt like I was very focused on the court from the start, and it's what I was looking for. It's never too easy," said Djokovic, who won the Indian Wells title in 2008 and 2011.

"First few matches I played good tennis but I had some ups and downs. Today was very stable from the first to the last point.

"He made a lot of unforced errors, and obviously I just needed to make him play an extra shot and serve well. I have done everything I wanted."   Continued...

 
Mar 14, 2014; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Novak Djokovic (SRB) during his match against Julien Benneteau (not pictured) at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Djokovic won 6-1, 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports