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Rain or Rafa, nothing can stop Federer

sports Updated: Mar 19, 2012 08:22 IST

Agencies
Highlight Story

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Swiss maestro Roger Federer avenged his Australian Open semifinal loss to Rafael Nadal but ousting the Spaniard in straight sets while American John Isner shocked World No.1 Novak Djokovic in the other semifinal at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.

After a three-hour rain delay Saturday, when the pair took the court, Federer dismissed his long time rival 6-3, 6-4 to reach his fourth final.

Serbian Djokovic suffered a shock defeat against Isner, who continued to prove his status as a serious contender on the men's tour. The American though had to battle hard as he beat Djokovic 7-6(7), 3-6, 7-6(5) to reach his first ATP World Tour Masters final.

Isner, who had lost to Djokovic in their previous two meetings, threw his arms skywards in celebration before light drizzle began to fall on the showpiece stadium court.

"That's why I play this game, is to be able to enjoy moments like that," 11th seed Isner told reporters with a broad grin after the match. "It was very special when that last ball went by him and I knew I had won the match. Not many people can say they've ever beaten the number one player in the world. I'm gonna have another shot tomorrow to play in front of a packed house for a big tournament title."

Fourth shot
Having already won the tournament three consecutive times 2004-06, Federer will face the Isner for a fourth title.

"Very happy that a tough week like this gives me an opportunity to win the tournament," Federer said.

"Really it's unbelievable that I never thought I would come so far.

"Obviously conditions were tough today, and against one of my greatest rivals, it's always nice if you come out on top, so I'm very, very happy."

The 30-year-old leads the circuit with a 21-2 mark in 2012.