Alexandr Dolgopolov, Roger Federer ease into last four

Alexandr Dolgopolov, Roger Federer ease into last four

Alexandr Dolgopolov reached his maiden ATP Masters semi-final at the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday, while Roger Federer also progressed.

Dolgopolov, the 28th seed of Ukraine, surpassed Canada's 10th seed Milos Raonic 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 19 minutes.

The 31st-ranked Dolgopolov knocked out top seed Rafael Nadal earlier in the tournament at Indian Wells, and the one-time Australian Open quarter-finalist continued his sterling run to the final four when he dismantled Raonic.

Dolgopolov shot out to a 3-0 lead in the first set, and that break of serve was all he needed to take out the opener on his second set-point.

Raonic looked to give Dolgopolov some of his own medicine as he opened up a 3-0 lead in the second set, but the unorthodox right-hander broke back in a mammoth fifth game on his way to picking up five straight games to lead 5-3.

The Canadian's service game when leading 3-1 was the momentum swinger, as Dolgopolov blew three break points from 0-40 up and saved two game points before converting to get the set back on serve.

Dolgopolov said he focused on his return of serve against the booming ball of Raonic.

"I was quite fast today," said Dolgopolov.

"I was really happy with that.

"And I was able to get more returns than usually you can against him (Raonic).

"He serves really big and I knew I had to do that, and I'm quite pleased how I anticipated on his serve and have seen the toss of the ball and was really, really concentrated to get those serves back."

Federer, the seventh seed, next awaits Dolgopolov after the 17-time major winner dispatched of South Africa's Kevin Anderson.

Anderson - the 17th seed - was no match for Federer, who ran out a 7-5 6-1 winner.

The first 11 games of the match went to serve, but big-serving Anderson faulted at the wrong time - losing his serve to love to lose the set.

Federer broke Anderson another two times in succession to rocket out to a 5-0 lead before Anderson got on the board, but it was too late to save the match as the Swiss reached his 49th Masters semi-final.

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