Top seeded Novak Djokovic, World number two Andy Murray and the French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka have taken their appointed places in the last four of the BNP Paribas Indoor Tennis Masters in Bercy, Paris. They have been joined by the 2012 champion David Ferrer of Spain in what is the only Masters series title of his career.
In the first match of the day on Friday, the Scott Andy Murray needed three sets to put out the last remaining French hope Richard Gasquet. Murray will also be spearheading the final of the Davis Cup as his team Great Britain travel to Belgium November 27-29. Gasquet however has ensured that he will be the first replacement should any of the top eight withdraw from the season ending finale at the O2 arena in London between November 15-22. Just for the record Murray won 7-6(7),3-6,6-3.
The American John Isner who had upset the 2011 champion Roger Federer on Thursday, won the second set against Ferrer in a tie-break as expected, but faltered when it mattered and the workmanlike Ferrer dominated the first and the third set to win 6-3,6-7(6),6-2. The Spaniard only had three aces in the two hour twenty six minute match but converted on five out of the fifteen break point chances against Isner who served 13 aces. Ferrer and Murray will contest the first semifinal on Saturday.
Novak Djokovic will take on Stanislas Wawrinka, in a repeat of the French Open final in Roland Garros this year, as both needed two tie-breaks to overcome Tomas Berdych and Rafael Nadal respectively. Djokovic who has won five Masters 1000 events this year already in Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Rome and in Shanghai extended his head to head record against the consistent but predictable Tomas Berdych 7-6(3),7-6(8).
In the last marquee match up of the day the Swiss Wawrinka put out last week’s beaten finalist in Basel, Rafael Nadal 7-6(8),7-6(7). Wawrinka saved three set points in the first set of which two of them were in the tie-break and saved one more in the second set in a match lasting two hours and twenty minutes and extended beyond 1AM.
The line up for the last four with my pick mentioned first with their head to head record is as under :-
Stanislas Wawrinka (4) (53-15) v. Novak Djokovic (1) (76-5); Djokovic leads 18-4
Andy Murray (2) (67-11) v. David Ferrer (8) (55-12); Murray leads 10-6.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]