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Federer ousts Anderson to set up Dolgopolov clash

ROGER FEDERER charged into the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells yesterday with a straight sets win over South African Kevin Anderson.

The Swiss master succeeded where others had failed by blunting the serve of the towering 6ft 8in (2.13m) Anderson to win 7-5 6-1.

Federer faced only one break point in the entire match and reeled off seven games on the trot to clinch the opening set and race to a 5-0 lead in the second.

"It was big to win the set and then to go on to break early in the second," Federer said. "Then (getting a) double break was like a bonus. From then on I was home basically."

His reward for winning was a semi-final clash on Saturday with Ukrainian giantkiller Alexandr Dolgopolov, who continued his fairytale run in the Californian desert by defeating big-serving Canadian Milos 6-3 6-4.

Dolgopolov has been a revelation at Indian Wells since he was thrust into the spotlight when he scored an upset win over world number one Rafa Nadal in the third round.

In the women's draw, China's Li Na won her rematch with Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova to join Italian veteran Flavia Pennetta in the semis.

In her first meeting with Cibulkova since the Australian Open final in January, Li once again proved too strong for her younger opponent, winning 6-3 4-6 6-3 in a little over two and a half hours.

Pennetta booked her place in the last four by beating American Sloane Stephens 6-4 5-7 6-4 in a seesawing match played in gusting winds.

In a tournament that has been packed with surprises and high-profile casualties, the 32-year-old Li has been a model of consistency, ferociously battling through each round.

Cibulkova made eight doubles while the pair combined for more than 100 unforced errors in a match that was longer and much tighter than their last meeting in Melbourne.

Li got the decisive break late in the third set and then served out for victory.

"Here is different than Australia. Of course score should be different," said Li.

"I think today she played more aggressive. I was feeling if I try to go back like a little bit she was trying to step in to hit the ball."


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