Friday featured the last of the men’s quarterfinals and the women’s semifinals on stadium 1. Although the practice courts were fairly quiet this morning, I did find John Isner and Sam Querrey warming up for their doubles semifinal. They seemed to be in a good mood ahead of their match.
Roger Federer and Juan Martin Del Potro started off the men’s quarters for the day. It didn’t take long for Delpo to lose his focus, though. Del Potro challenged a ruling on Federer’s serve, which both players believed to be out. However, hawkeye wasn’t available, so the original call of an ace was unchanged. It clearly frustrated Delpo for the rest of the match. He seemed to lose his focus from that point on, which severely impacted the Argentine’s game. Federer played very well and was off the court in a quick two-set match and should be well rested ahead of his semifinal tomorrow.
Meanwhile, on court 2, John Isner and Sam Querrey took on Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor. Quisner seemed a bit surprised by the fact that their match was so empty. The Federer match was the more popular choice when the doubles semifinal began, but Isner still tried to liven up the small crowd with some calls for cheers as the players got ready to start the match. The match didn’t last long after Quisner broke in the first set to win 6-4 and rolled through the second at 6-2. They will face Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez in the final tomorrow.
On stadium 1, Nadal had to fight off some strong play from David Nalbandian as well as his own errors. Nadal made several uncharacteristic mistakes in the first set, allowing Nalbandian to break Nadal at 5-4, giving the Argentine the first set at 6-4. Nadal fought back in the second set and was able to stave off Nalbandian to take control of the match. The first few games of the third set went to Nadal, and it seemed that, after a double break, his victory was assured. Nevertheless, Nalbandian held strong and gave Nadal enough trouble to break back once. The number two seed, however, made sure it didn’t happen again and won the third set at 6-4.
In the evening, the women’s matches took center stage. Victoria Azarenka had a successful match against Angelique Kerber. She did not seem to struggle much as her winning streak continued. Maria Sharapova fought back from a break down against Ana Ivanovic to win the first set. Both players worked hard in the first set, forcing each other to save break points. Unfortunately, Ivanovic injured herself in the middle of the first set and was forced to retire shortly into the beginning of the second set. It was disappointing that Ivanovic had to retire as it was shaping up to be a great match, but the rematch of the Australian Open final with Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova should be great to watch.
It will be tough to leave Indian Wells tomorrow, but there will be some great matches on Saturday and Sunday to conclude the BNP Paribas Open 2012 with the men’s doubles final on Saturday and the men’s and women’s singles finals on Sunday.