Stan, Roger Chase Finals Berths
• Three new faces – No. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka, No. 17 seed Jack Sock and No. 21 seed Pablo Carreno Busta join four-time champion and No. 9 seed Roger Federer in the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals on Saturday. Federer has cruised into his 10th Indian Wells semi-final without losing a set or serve while the trio of first-time semi-finalists each have lost at least one set.
• In the opening match, Wawrinka brings a 2-0 head-to-head record against Carreno Busta, who is making his ATP Masters 1000 semi-final debut. Wawrinka won both previous meetings on clay in 2013 and last year. The 25-year-old Spaniard saved two match points in his three-set quarter-final win over No. 27 seed Pablo Cuevas. Carreno Busta is trying to become the sixth different Spaniard to reach the final in the tournament’s 42-year history. Rafael Nadal is the last Spanish champion in 2013. If Carreno Busta advances to the biggest final of his career, he will have to earn his first Top 10 win. He is 0-14, having won three of 36 sets. Wawrinka, who won his last two matches in a third-set tie-break, is making his ninth ATP Masters 1000 semi-final showing (3-5) and he’s trying to reach his fourth final (1-2), the first in the U.S.
• In the second match, Federer takes a 2-0 head-to-head record against Sock. Federer won both meetings in straight sets in 2015, here in the 4R and in the semi-finals of his hometown tournament in Basel. The 35-year-old Swiss superstar is trying to reach his seventh Indian Wells final (4-2) and he is 6-3 in semi-final matches. He is two match wins away from claiming his record-tying fifth Indian Wells title and 90th of his career. Federer has held all 27 service games (saving one break point) and on Thursday he defeated Nadal for the third straight time for the first time in their 36-match rivalry. He is 5-0 vs. Top 10 opponents this season, his best showing to start the year since 2004 when he went 18-0 and finished No. 1. Sock is the first American to reach the semi-finals here since John Isner in 2014 and he is coming off the biggest win of his career over No. 5-ranked Kei Nishikori on Friday. All four wins en route to the semi-finals have come in three sets. He is attempting to earn back-to-back Top 10 tournament wins for the first time in his career and become the first American to reach the Indian Wells final since Isner in 2012 (l. to Federer).
• With Federer in the semi-finals, at least one member of the Big Four (Murray, Djokovic, Nadal, Federer) has played in the semis of 37 straight ATP Masters 1000s and 72 of the last 73. The last ATP Masters 1000 semi-final without a Big Four member was 2012 Paris-Bercy with David Ferrer, Jerzy Janowicz, Gilles Simon and Michael Llodra reached the semis. Three of the Big Four (except Murray) have accounted for 12 of the past 13 titles going back to 2004 when Federer captured the first of his four titles (2004-06, 2012). Overall a Top 5 player in the Emirates ATP Rankings has lifted the champion’s trophy in 15 of the past 16 years, except 2010 when No. 26 Ivan Ljubicic won the title.
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