INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Roger Federer defeated Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-0 and Canadian Milos Raonic outlasted Rafael Nadal 4-6, 7-6 (10), 7-5 in a nearly three-hour marathon to set up a semifinal showdown at the BNP Paribas Open on Friday.
Federer improved to 15-1 this year, with his only loss coming against Andreas Seppi in the third round of the Australian Open. Federer avenged that defeat in the same round at Indian Wells. He earned his first straight-set win over Berdych since 2011 in Paris and just his second 6-0 set ever in 19 career matches against the Czech.
“I’m not the kind of guy who takes great joy out of bageling opponents, to be honest,” said Federer, seeking a record fifth title in the desert.
He needed just 68 minutes to advance to the semis against the sixth-seeded Raonic.
“It was one of his very tough performances,” Berdych said. “He was doing pretty much everything perfect.”
Top-ranked Serena Williams played No. 3 seed Simona Halep and No. 18 Jelena Jankovic faced 24th-seeded Sabine Lisicki in evening semifinals. Williams is trying to reach the final for the first time since 2001, when she won as a 19-year-old and was heavily booed, leading to her 14-year boycott of the tournament.
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic takes on fourth-seeded Andy Murray in the other men’s semifinal on Saturday.
Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., beat three-time Indian Wells champion Nadal for the first time in six career meetings, firing 18 aces and hitting 48 winners to 25 winners for Nadal, who had 22 unforced errors.
They dueled in the second-set tiebreaker, when Nadal held three match points but he committed errors on two of them and Raonic smashed a winner on the other.
Raonic had plenty of chances in the tiebreaker, too, finally converting on his fifth set point when Nadal netted a shot.
Neither gave an inch in the third, staying on serve until the 11th game.
That’s when Raonic earned the only break of the set, hitting a shot on the baseline that Nadal chased down but sent a backhand long. Raonic dropped just one point on his serve in the final game, winning on another backhand error by Nadal, who lost to a Canadian player for the first time in nine career matches.
Nadal’s defeat prevented Djokovic, Federer, the Spaniard and Murray — the world’s top four-ranked players — from reaching the semifinals at the same tournament since the 2012 Australian Open.
Federer had 21 winners, equaling the number of unforced errors by Berdych. Federer won 13 of 14 points at the net, never faced a break point on his serve, and broke Berdych four times in the match, including three times in the second set.
“I was really able to utilize the court much more, play more angles, play with variation, spin and slice. I did that very well,” Federer said. “Because I was serving well and moving well, so maybe there is not going to be that many chances for him on the return.”
Federer served two love games in the first set, when he lost just five points on his serve.
“When you feel that he’s in control right from the beginning, then of course you have to come up with your best game from the beginning of the match,” Berdych said. “There is a very thin line in between that and overdoing it. Today I stepped a little bit over it.”