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Federer Up To World No. 5 After Reaching Indian Wells SFs

Indian Wells, U.S.A.

Federer© AFP/Getty ImagesRoger Federer beat Kevin Anderson for the second time in his career on Thursday night.

Roger Federer will play Alexandr Dolgopolov for the first time in more than three-and-a-half years on Saturday in the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals.

Seventh seed Federer defeated No. 17 seed Kevin Anderson 7-5, 6-1 on Thursday night at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, venue of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament.  With the result he moves up to No. 5 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and into the Indian Wells semi-finals for the eighth time.

Federer is attempting to capture his fifth singles title at Indian Wells. This year, he is also looking to lift the doubles trophy with Stanislas Wawrinka. The pair will compete in the semi-finals on Friday against second seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares.

Anderson, who was competing in his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final, first came under pressure at 2-2 in the first set when he saved four break points. Federer converted the first of his five break point opportunities in the set at 6-5, with Anderson serving at 0/40 – when Federer drilled a backhand low to Anderson, who struck a backhand volley into the net. Both players each hit nine winners in the set, but Anderson committed 16 unforced errors.

Federer ran through the second set, which lasted 23 minutes, with service breaks in second and fourth games en route to a 5-0 lead.

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“[I] gave myself chances and started with a few more returns in play, I guess, at 5-all,” said Federer, on how he won seven straight games. “I was also… feeling good movement wise [and] feeling good absorbing his pace [and] also being aggressive myself. I think the combination in those 10 minutes, all worked out for me. It was big to win the set and then to go on to break early in the second. Then [getting a] double break was like a bonus. From then on I was home basically. It was a really good match for me, basically.”

Last week, Federer won his 78th tour-level title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last week (d. Berdych). The Swiss moved clear of John McEnroe (77 titles) into third place on the Open Era title leaders list, behind Jimmy Connors (109) and Ivan Lendl (94).

Dolgopolov, who beat Rafael Nadal in the third round and Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals, last played Federer in October 2010 at the Swiss Indoors Basel.

Anderson dropped to 5-30 lifetime against the Top 10 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

Anderson had collected his 150th career win with a 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-1 fourth round defeat of Stanislas Wawrinka, ending the Swiss’ 13-match winning streak in the process.

Anderson had reached the final at his past two ATP World Tour tournaments in Delray Beach (l. to Cilic) and Acapulco (l. to Dimitrov). He became the first South African to reach back-to-back ATP World Tour finals since Wayne Ferreira earned silverware in Ostrava (d. Washington) and Lyon (d. Sampras) in October 1995.

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