Indian Wells, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Reigning champion Novak Djokovic and former runner-up Andy Murray moved into the semifinals in different fashion Thursday at the $5.3 million BNP Paribas Open.
The fourth-seeded one-time world No. 2 Murray cruised past 12th-seeded Spanish left-hander Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4 in 1 hour, 32 minutes, while the world No. 1 Djokovic advanced via walkover, when 32nd-seeded Aussie Bernard Tomic pulled out of their scheduled quarterfinal bout because of a bad back on Day 8.
Murray broke Lopez three times, while Lopez managed only one break in a losing effort at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Djokovic and Murray will do battle on Saturday. The Serb leads their lifetime series, 16-8, including a victory in a semi at Indian Wells in 2007.
Djokovic, the reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champ, won this event for a third time last year when he topped Roger Federer in a marquee finale. The Serb was also a runner-up in 2007 against Rafael Nadal.
Murray was the 2009 Indian Wells runner-up to Nadal.
Djokovic bested his Scottish long-time rival and fellow 27-year-old Murray in January's Aussie Open finale.
Two more quarterfinal matches on Friday will pit the second-seeded former No. 1 Federer against ninth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych and the third-seeded former top-ranked great Nadal versus sixth-seeded Canadian slugger Milos Raonic.
Federer owns four Indian Wells crowns, while the French Open king Nadal is a three-time champ and was the 2011 runner-up to Djokovic in the California desert.
The winner of the first ATP Masters event of the season will claim $900,400.