INDIAN WELLS, California (Reuters) - Roger Federer delivered a master class as he swept into the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open with a ruthless 6-4 6-0 demolition of Czech Tomas Berdych on Friday.
Bidding for a record fifth title at the ATP Masters 1000 event, the Swiss world number two broke his opponent once in the first set and three times in the second to seal victory in just 68 minutes at a sun-bathed Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Federer will next meet either Spanish left-hander Rafa Nadal or big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic who were playing later on Friday.
”It was great,“ a beaming Federer said courtside after improving his career record against Berdych to 13-6. ”I was really able to put the pressure on Tomas from the baseline.
”I had the upper hand and I definitely think he didn’t have his best serving day.
“The statistics showed he had a few double faults and not a high enough first-serve percentage and that allowed me to get into many of the baseline rallies. And because I had the upper hand, I was able to control the match.”
Ninth-seeded Berdych, whose best run at Indian Wells came in 2013 when he lost to Nadal in the semi-finals, served five double faults and never earned a single break point against the Swiss.
Federer, who had dispatched American Jack Sock 6-3 6-2 in the previous round, broke Berdych in the seventh game of the match, when the Czech netted a backhand after a protracted baseline rally, before taking the opening set in 40 minutes.
The Swiss master dominated the second set with superb all-round tennis against an increasingly error-prone Berdych, who lost serve in the first and third games to go 0-3 down.
Federer again broke the Czech in the fifth, celebrating with a fist pump after crunching a forehand winner down the line, and then served out to book his place in the last four.
World number one Novak Djokovic will face fourth-seeded Scot Andy Murray in Saturday’s other semi in a re-match of this year’s Australian Open final, won by the Serb in four sets.
Djokovic was gifted a spot in the last four at Indian Wells when Australian Bernard Tomic pulled out of their quarter-final on Thursday, citing a back injury, while Murray advanced with a 6-3 6-4 win over Spaniard Felicano Lopez.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry