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Federer Leads Indian Wells QF Line-Up

Indian Wells, U.S.A.

Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer takes on Kevin Anderson for a semi-final spot.

The four quarter-finalists in the top half of the draw take to court on Day 8 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden with four-time champion Roger Federer leading the way. The world No. 8 will bid to reach the semi-finals at the BNP Paribas Open for the eighth time when he opens up the night session on Stadium 1 against the in-form Kevin Anderson. The pair’s only previous meeting came at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Paris at the end of last year, when the Swiss clinched a 6-4, 6-4 victory. 

The other QF in action today sees Alexandr Dolgopolov and Milos Raonic, who will be contesting his first quarter-final of the season, go head-to-head for the first time. The Ukrainian and Canadian are two of four first-time Indian Wells quarter-finalists – Julien Benneteau and Ernests Gulbis, in action tomorrow, are also appearing at this stage for the first time. 

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Dolgopolov has made the biggest jump in the Top 50 Emirates ATP Rankings since the close of 2013, and after this showing in Indian Wells he will rise further. If the Ukrainian can get the better of Raonic, he is projected to rise to No. 23. His career-high is No. 13 (Jan 16, 2012). If Raonic advances to the semi-finals he will return to the Top 10. The Canadian first broke the Top 10 on August 12, 2013 after he reached a maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final in Montreal (l. to Nadal). Here’s a look at the players who have made the biggest jump in the Top 50 this year:

Alexandr Dolgopolov +26 No. 57 No. 31
Lleyton Hewitt +20 No. 61 No. 41
Yen-Hsun Lu +17 No. 66 No. 49
Pablo Andujar +13 No. 48 No. 35
Marin Cilic +11 No. 37 No. 26
Federico Delbonis +11 No. 55 No. 44
Florian Mayer +11 No. 40 No. 29

Both Dolgopolov and Raonic will bid to become the first players from their country to reach the Indian Wells semi-finals. Dolgopolov is the first Ukrainian to appear in the quarter-finals here since Andrei Medvedev fell to Thomas Muster in the last eight in 1998. If Anderson can find a way past Federer, he will become the first South African to reach the semi-finals here since Wayne Ferreira defeated Alexander Volkov to reach the final four 21 years ago (l. to Jim Courier in SF). 



[28] Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) vs [10] Milos Raonic (CAN)

FedEx Head 2 Head: First ATP World Tour meeting

Dolgopolov improved to 5-2 against top 20 opponents this year with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over No. 13 seed Fabio Fognini, advancing to the QF here for the first time. 
• In the 3R, Dolgopolov posted the biggest win of his career, defeating defending champion and world No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5). He became the first Ukrainian to beat the reigning world No. 1. The 25-year-old defeated Nadal despite a first serve percentage of just 40. This marked the first time the Spaniard had lost to a player with such a low first-serve percentage. The previous low was Lleyton Hewitt, who defeated Nadal at the ATP Masters Series Canada in 2004 after landing just 43% of his first serves. 
• Dolgopolov defeated American Tim Smyczek 7-6(3), 6-4 in his opening match.  
• Dolgopolov is making his fourth consecutive appearance at Indian Wells. He had never advanced to the QF here before this week, with his previous best run a 4R showing in 2012 (l. to Nadal).
• Dolgopolov rose from No. 57 to 31 in the Emirates ATP Rankings after a successful February on the ATP World Tour. The Ukrainian reached the final in Rio de Janeiro, posting three top 20 wins – Fabio Fognini, Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer – before losing to Nadal. He followed up his final run in Mexico with a SF appearance at the ATP 500 event in Acapulco (l. to Anderson).
• Dolgopolov defeated No. 21 Janowicz en route to Sydney QF at the start of 2014 (l. to Tomic). 
• Dolgopolov finished 2013 outside the top 50 for the first time since 2009. He reached one SF in Winston-Salem (l. to Monfils). 
• Dolgopolov is 0-2 in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 QFs. His previous outings in the last eight at this level came in Shanghai 2011 (l. to Nishikori) and Madrid 2012 (l. to Del Potro).
Raonic advanced to the QF at the BNP Paribas Open for the first time with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory over world No. 4 Murray. The Canadian extended his career record over the Brit to 3-1 with the win. 
• In the 2R, the Canadian hit 33 aces – the fourth highest aces tally of his career – in a 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(2) win over Edouard Roger-Vasselin, before posting a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Alejandro Falla in the 3R.
• Raonic is making his fourth appearance at Indian Wells. His previous best showing came last year when he reached the 4R (l. to Tsonga in 3 sets).
• This is Raonic’s first outing since suffering a left ankle injury at the Australian Open in January. The 23-year-old reached the 3R in Melbourne (l. to Dimitrov). 
• The top Canadian became the first player from his country and the first player born in the 1990s to crack the top 10 when he broke through on August 12 last year. He finished the season at a year-end high No. 11 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, highlighted by titles in San Jose, Bangkok and a maiden appearance in a ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final in Montreal (l. to Nadal). 
• Raonic will be contesting his fourth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 QF (1-2). The only time he advanced beyond the QF at this level was in Montreal last year.

[17] Kevin Anderson (RSA) vs [7] Roger Federer (SUI)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Federer leads 1-0

2013 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Paris Hard R32 Roger Federer 6-4 6-4

Anderson collected his 150th career win with a 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-1 defeat of Stanislas Wawrinka, ending the Swiss’ 13-match winning streak in the process. The South African firing down 14 aces en route to a 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 victory over lucky loser Evgeny Donskoy in the 3R after denying Lleyton Hewitt a 600th career win in the 2R, defeating the Australian 7-6(5), 6-4.  
• Anderson is making his sixth appearance in Indian Wells. His previous best showing came last year when he defeated No. 4 Ferrer en route to the QF (l. to Berdych). 
• Anderson has reached the final at his last two events 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 won titles in Ostrava (d. Washington) and Lyon (d. Sampras) in October 1995.
• Anderson opened his season in Auckland where he fell in his opening match to lucky loser Steve Johnson. He went on to reach the R16 at the Australian Open, losing to world No. 7 Berdych.
• Anderson posted a career-best year in 2013. Despite missing a month after undergoing surgery on his right elbow in January, the South African became the first player from his country to finish the season inside the top 20 since Wayne Ferreira ended 2000 at No. 10. Anderson, who played NCAA tennis for three years at the University of Illinois, clinched 37 match wins during the year.
• Anderson is 0-2 in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 QFs, losing at this stage to Djokovic in Miami in 2011 and Berdych at Indian Wells last year. 
• Anderson is 5-29 lifetime against top 10 opposition and 2-1 this year after his victory over No. 3 Wawrinka. 
Federer advanced to the QF at Indian Wells for the ninth time with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Tommy Haas in one hour and 24 minutes. The Swiss posted back-to-back straight set wins over Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-2, 7-6(5) and Dmitry Tursunov 7-6(7), 7-6(2) in his opening two rounds. 
• Federer is playing in Indian Wells for the 14th time (45-9). The former world No. 1 has captured the title here four times: 2004 (d. Henman), 2005 (d. Hewitt), 2006 (d. Blake) and 2012 (d. Isner).
• Federer has failed to reach the QF at the BNP Paribas Open just twice in his last 10 visits: 2010 (l. to Baghdatis in 3R) and 2007 (l. to Canas in 2R). 
• Federer clinched his first title of the season and 78th overall in Dubai last week (d. world No. 2 Djokovic in SF and No. 6 Berdych in F). The Swiss moved clear of John McEnroe (77 titles) into third place on the all-time title list with the win, behind Jimmy Connors (109) and Ivan Lendl (94).
• Federer opened his season with a run to the final in Brisbane (l. to Hewitt). At the Australian Open, he defeated No. 10 Tsonga and No. 4 Murray en route to the SF (l. to No. 1 Nadal).
• Federer was the oldest player to finish a season inside the top 10 since Andre Agassi (35) in 2005. He was also the first player since Pete Sampras (1990-2001) to finish in the top 10 12 years in a row. His streak of 11 straight years inside the top five came to an end, however. 
• Federer advanced to the QF at four ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events last year, posting a 2-2 record. The 32-year-old is 7-1 in Indian Wells QFs with his only defeat at this stage coming last year when he fell to Nadal. 

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