Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Sports | By Jaime Goodwin

Federer downs Sock in Indian Wells semifinals

Federer downs Sock in Indian Wells semifinals

Federer, who continues his revival after clinching his 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, overpowered 17th-seeded American Jack Sock 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) to earn a crack at a record-equalling fifth Indian Wells title.

Back on the court, it is only fitting that a magician came out of Indian Wells' "Quarter of Death", which initially included Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Nick Kyrgios, Alexander Zverev and Juan Martin del Potro, among other unsafe players.

Federer raced through the first set in 21 minutes, firing five of his eight aces in the match and breaking Sock twice. Federer showed glimpses of his vintage self when he decimated Nadal for the second time this season in straight sets in his Round of 16 clash earlier this week.

Sock, who withstood four match points against Grigor Dimitrov in the third round and had another close shave against Malek Jaziri in the fourth, used his high kick serve and powerful groundstrokes to overcome Nishikori - who hadn't dropped a set in his three prior matches.

"No seriously, we're actually starting a boy band: The one handed #BackhandBoys", Federer captioned in posting the video on his Twitter account on Friday (Saturday NZ time).

So it may not be the final that many expected this week, but with so much history both with and against one another, and both Federer and Wawrinka playing such confident, fast and attacking tennis, it will be no less welcome for that.

The remaining women's semifinalists will be decided Thursday, when seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams takes on Russian Elena Vesnina and 2011 Indian Wells champion Caroline Wozniacki faces France's Kristina Mladenovic. It was hard to break and return well off Jack's heavy serve, ? he added. "I think he's been doing that to players pretty consistently this year". Or Mirjana Lucic-Baroni - age 34 and ranked 79th - reaching the semi-finals in Melbourne? But Wawrinka got little resistance Saturday from Carreno Busta.

Federer has won 19 of 22 career meetings with Wawrinka, including a semi-final win at the Australian Open in January.

"I've given everybody their money's worth, a three-setter every match so far", the 24-year-old Sock said in an on-court interview. "It's not a goal of mine per se to play until I reach 100". Probably the fact that "Sveta", a 31-year-old who will play her 40th career-final on Sunday, is a more experienced player on a such important stage can be decisive for the final result of the match.

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