The final Saturday at Indian Wells Tennis Garden will feature a pair of intriguing men's singles semifinals matchups and two doubles championships.
In the first singles showdown, four-time Indian Wells champion Roger Federer will square off against Ukrainian dark horse Alexandr Dolgopolov. Afterward, two-time winner and World No. 2 Novak Djokovic will go head-to-head against crowd favorite John Isner to determine the second berth in Sunday's final.
Those sticking around and tuning in after singles action will catch a pair of doubles finals featuring a handful of the best tennis tandems on the planet.
With the tournament nearing a dramatic conclusion, let's get you set with a complete schedule breakdown and some predictions for Saturday's action.
|Saturday's Order of Play|
|Men's Singles Semifinals||Start Time (ET)||TV|
|(28) Alexandr Dolgopolov vs. (7) Roger Federer||3 p.m.||ESPNews|
|(12) John Isner vs. (2) Novak Djokovic||5 p.m.||ESPNews|
|Doubles Finals||Start Time (ET)||TV|
|(1) Su-Wei Hsieh/Shuai Peng vs. (5) Cara Black/Sania Mirza||7 p.m.||N/A|
|(1) Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan vs. (2) Alexander Peya/Bruno Soares||8:30 p.m.||Tennis Channel|
*Click here to view updated draws via BNPParibasOpen.com.
Day 10 Predictions
No. 7 Roger Federer Over No. 28 Alexandr Dolgopolov
There's no player left in the men's draw who can match Roger Federer's brilliance at this venue. Since 2004, the 17-time major winner has won four titles at Indian Wells, including his most recent victory in 2012.
ESPN.com tennis writer Peter Bodo breaks down Federer's situation:
[Federer's] in the semifinals now, and he’ll [be] the favorite to beat Alexandr Dolgopolov to a place in the title match. He’s been the most solid of the elite players (and I’m talking about both draws), keeping that well-groomed head as others are losing theirs, trusting himself when so many of us out in fanland doubt him.
Meanwhile, Federer's opponent, 28th-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov, is in uncharted territory. Despite the obvious experience advantage in favor of Federer, the 25-year-old Ukrainian is playing with undeniable confidence and rhythm following consecutive straight-sets wins in the fourth round and quarterfinals.
Therefore, expect Saturday's match to go the distance with at least one tiebreak deciding one of the hard-fought sets.
Keep in mind that these two players have met only once in the past, with Federer taking their only meeting in Basel, Switzerland, back in 2010. Still, even though Dolgopolov has overachieved to this point in the draw, the early exits by Rafael Nadal, Stanislas Wawrinka and Andy Murray have left the door wide open for Federer, who won't want to squander such a golden opportunity to build momentum for the the long season ahead.
No. 2 Novak Djokovic Over No. 12 John Isner
Watch for two-time BNP Paribas Open champion Novak Djokovic to survive a hard-fought battle with top-ranked American John Isner in Saturday's second semifinal.
Although Isner won their only previous meeting here two years ago, that match went the distance and required two tiebreaks that could have gone either way. On top of that, Djokovic leads their all-time head-to-head 4-2, taking three of their five hard-court meetings.
Plus, Isner is coming off a grueling quarterfinal win over Ernests Gulbis that required two tiebreaks.
On the other hand, Djokovic is starting to pick up steam after crushing Julien Benneteau Friday, per the Associated Press (via USA Today):
I felt like I was very focused on the court from the start, and it's what I was looking for. First few matches I played good tennis but I had some ups and downs. He made a lot of unforced errors, and obviously I just needed to make him play an extra shot and serve well.
Following disappointing exits in Melbourne and Dubai, look for Djokovic to beat Isner for the third time in his last four tries en route to the BNP Paribas Open final.
Federer and Djokovic's victories Saturday would set up the 33rd meeting between the two superstars. Federer leads the all-time head-to-head 17-15, but he'd lost three straight matches to Djokovic prior to his breakthrough in Dubai earlier this year.
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