Indian Wells, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Two-time champion Novak Djokovic was an easy quarterfinal winner Friday at the BNP Paribas Open, the first ATP Masters 1000 event of the year.
The former world No. 1 humbled unseeded Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-1, 6-3 in 68 minutes on the hardcourts at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Djokovic tallied four breaks while holding his serve throughout on Day 9.
The second-seeded Djokovic is now 6-1 lifetime against Benneteau, including a 2-1 record at Indian Wells, where the Frenchman captured their first-ever ATP meeting eight years ago.
The Serbian stalwart, who titled in the California desert in 2008 and 2011, will next face American favorite John Isner in a semifinal rematch of this event from two years ago. The 12th-seeded Isner upset Djokovic in that match en route to a runner-up finish.
Isner advanced by winning a pair of tiebreakers to claim a 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-3) decision over 20th-seeded Latvian Ernests Gulbis.
Saturday's other semifinal will pit seventh-seeded Roger Federer against 28th seed Alexandr Dolgopolov. The former world No. 1 great Federer is a record four-time Indian Wells champ, including three straight titles from 2004-06.
Federer and fellow Swiss star Stan Wawrinka were semifinal doubles losers on Friday, as they gave way to a second-seeded tandem of Austrian Alexander Peya and Brazilian Bruno Soares, 6-4, 6-1.
Sunday's singles titlist will collect $1 million, while the runner-up will settle for $500,000.