BNP Paribas Open: Federer beats Nadal, Isner gets the better of Djokivic in semis

Indian Wells: J  Isner got the better of World No 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic 7-6(7), 3-6, 7-6(5) to set up a title clash with Grand Slam record holder Roger Federer, who beat Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4 to in the BNP Paribas Open here on Saturday.

Federer, who won a record 250th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 match on Friday, will now have an opportunity to tie Nadal’s record 19 Masters 1000 titles. He closed in on the Spaniard’s mark with his triumph at last November’s BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.

"Very happy that a tough week like this gives me an opportunity to win the tournament," said Federer. "Really it's unbelievable that I never thought I would come so far. It's been a great week so far, and it's another opportunity tomorrow to make it even more special. Obviously conditions were tough today, and against one of my greatest rivals, it's always nice if you come out on top, so I'm very, very happy."

Meanwhile, Isner’s win over a World No. 1  ensured that he would break into the Top 10 for the first time. Should he capture the title Sunday, he would climb an extra two spots to No. 8 in the ATP Rankings, passing Mardy Fish to become the top American.

"That's why I play this game, to be able to enjoy moments like that," said Isner of the home country support. "The stadium was packed, wasn't a seat in the house, and everyone was on their feet, cheering for me, too. It was very special when that last ball went by him and I knew I had won the match.”

RESULTS - MARCH 17, 2012
Men's Singles - Semifinals
[11] J Isner (USA) d [1] N Djokovic (SRB) 76(7) 36 76(5)
[3] R Federer (SUI) d [2] R Nadal (ESP) 63 64

Women's Doubles - Finals
[1] L Huber (USA) / L Raymond (USA) d [2] S Mirza (IND) / E Vesnina (RUS) 62 63

ORDER OF PLAY - SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
[1] V Azarenka (BLR) vs [2] M Sharapova (RUS) - WTA
Not Before 1:00 PM
[11] J Isner (USA) vs [3] R Federer (SUI) - ATP
Not Before 2:30 PM
M Lopez (ESP) / R Nadal (ESP) vs J Isner (USA) / S Querrey (USA) - ATP - AFTER MINIMAL REST

Inputs from www.atpworldtour.com

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