Saturday, March 21, 2015

2015 INDIAN WELLS: Raonic Knocks Out Nadal; Serena Withdraws With Knee Injury

In one of the biggest upsets of the year to date, World #6 Milos Raonic won his first match in six meeting against World #3 Rafael Nadal 4-6 7-6(10) 7-5, saving three match points in the process, to reach a semifinal against Roger Federer, who dispatched Tomas Berdych 6-4 6-0. Raonic has one match in 9 meetings with Federer. The other men's semifinal will feature Djokovic-Murray XXV.

The women's side of the draw was stunned when Serena Williams withdrew from the tournament prior to her semifinal match with Simona Halep, citing a knee injury. This was somewhat ironic, because it was her sister Venus Williams withdrawal in their scheduled semifinal 14 years ago and the crowd's reaction that led to the absence of the Williams sisters from the Indian Wells tournament since 2001. Serena's return to the tournament is one of the big tennis stories of the year so far and hopefully this knee injury will not dampen her prospects for the rest of the year. Serena was playing in only her second tournament of the year and presumably will now skip the Miami tournament, but she has a week before she would play her first match at the tournament located within a 30 minutes of her main residence.

Halep will face a resurgent Jelena Jankovic who dispatched Sabine Lisicki in the only women's semifinal match. Lisicki had beaten last year's champion Flavia Pennetta in one of the most dramatic matches of the year (6-4 6-7(5) 7-6(4) and was unable to sustain the mental energy for two consecutive nights, losing after being up a set and a break.

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