Aisam, Bopanna storm into semis | Pakistan Today

Aisam, Bopanna storm into semis

LAHORE – The Indo-Pak Express of Aisam ul-Haq Qureshi and Rohan Bopanna forced their way into the semi-final of the doubles event at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. Aisam and Bopanna won their quarter-final against the Serbian pairing of Novak Djokovic and Victor Troicki 6-1, 7-6.
The first set saw the Asians come out all guns blazing, catching the current Davis Cup champions unawares with a hail of powerful serves and ground strokes. The world no.3 and current Australian Open champion had his serve broken and his compatriot fared no better as Aisam and Bopanna took the set 6-1 with ruthless domination on the crucial ‘no-advantage’ 40-40 points.
The Serbs found their feet in the second set however, and made a real match of it. They found their range in all areas of their play, and the serves and ground strokes started flowing. Aisam and Bopanna kept up the tempo of their game, and were unrelenting when it came to defending their serve. A most crucial situation arose when Aisam found himself 15-40 down at 4-5, facing three break points that would have sent the match into a super tie breaker.
As they did against Paes and Bhupathi, Aisam and Bopanna dug deep and saved the game, holding their own until the set went into a tie breaker. In the tie breaker, Aisam and Bopanna again piled on the pressure to gain a mini break, but the Serbs evened it up on the very next point. A few points later, it was Djokovic and Troicki who had the upper hand when they won a point on Bopanna’s serve, only for Aisam to break back with a mammoth overhead shot.
Then, at 5-6, with Djokovic serving to stay in the match, Bopanna unleashed a huge return to end the match in favour of the Indo-Pak Express 6-1, 7-6. Up next is the combination of Alexander Dolgopolov and Xavier Malisse. Federer, Bartoli in last four: Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer reached the quarter-finals at Indian Wells on Wednesday without dropping a set while eighth-seeded Andy Roddick bowed out.
Djokovic extended his perfect record this season to 15-0 by pounding fellow Serb Viktor Troicki 6-0 6-1 and Spanish world number one Nadal had to work a little harder before seeing off plucky Indian qualifier Somdev Devvarman 7-5 6-4. Second-ranked Federer, seeking a record fourth title at Indian Wells, was tested to the full in a tight opening set by 18-year-old American Ryan Harrison before booking his place in the last eight 7-6 6-3.
However, big-serving American Roddick was eliminated 6-3 7-6 by Frenchman Richard Gasquet who clinched a gripping second set tiebreak 7-5 after his opponent had earlier been warned for racket abuse. Gasquet will next face Djokovic, Nadal takes on Croat Ivo Karlovic, a 7-6 6-2 winner against Spaniard Albert Montanes, and Federer will play fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, who upset seventh-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych 3-6 6-4 6-4.
Earlier, Spaniard Tommy Robredo and former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina booked their places in the last eight.

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