Indian Wells Tennis: Djokovic, Del Potro advance to semifinals

Updated: Mar 16, 2013, 08:56 AM IST

Indian Wells: Top-ranked Novak Djokovic advanced to the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 54 minutes on Friday.

Juan Martin del Potro had to go the distance to upset No. 3 seed Andy Murray 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-1 for the first time in five tries on hard courts and will play Djokovic next. The Argentine has lost to Djokovic eight times in 10 meetings.

No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova and No. 4 Angelique Kerber were to play separate semifinals at night.

Djokovic extended his winning streak to 22 matches dating to Oct. 31, when he last lost to American Sam Querrey in Paris. The Serb is 17-0 this year, including two titles.

"When it was important, I didn`t allow him to come back to the match. I didn`t allow him to have an opportunity to believe that he can maybe have a break back and get back into the match," Djokovic said about Tsonga. "That was very important for me to stay mentally committed throughout the whole match."

Djokovic broke Tsonga four times and served out the match with his fourth 40-love game in the second set.

"Jo didn`t play his best," Djokovic said. "He made a lot of unforced errors and his serve wasn`t going well so it made my life easier on the court."

Tsonga fell to 0-11 against Top-5 opponents since beating then-No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal in November 2011.

"I did a lot of mistakes, was tough for me to keep the ball in the court," Tsonga said. "It was a day for me without sensation. Everything I tried to do, I missed it."

Murray double-faulted to end the 2 1/2-hour match, missing with his second serve down the middle to get broken for the third time in the set and fifth in the match.

Del Potro hadn`t lost a set in the tournament until he lost the tiebreaker 7-5 on an errant forehand.