Djokovic beats Nadal in semis as three-peat looms


Two-time defending BNP Paribas Open champion Novak Djokovic is on track to complete a three-peat after overcoming Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.

Djokovic fended off a set point in the opener before the world number one eventually prevailed 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 at Indian Wells on Saturday.

Despite tallying 29 unforced errors against the three-time former champion in just under two hours, Djokovic will now meet Milos Raonic in the final as he bids to win a fifth Paribas Open title.

Facing off against each other for the 48th time - an Open Era record on the ATP Tour - fourth seed Nadal made the early running against Djokovic, opening the match with an easy hold before breaking the Serb in the second game.

The break, a rarity for Nadal having only managed to do so once in 54 previous matches against Djokovic on hard courts, was short-lived as the 11-time grand-slam champion put the match back on serve.

It remained that way until the tie-break, after Djokovic saved a set point in the 10th game, which proved decisive as the 28-year-old won the final two points to close out the set, having surrendered a 5-2 lead.

The pair continued to go toe-to-toe in the second set, but a forehand into the net saw Djokovic break for a 4-2 lead.

Nadal was unable to hit back like he did against Alexander Zverev in the fourth round after saving a match point, with Djokovic breaking again in the eighth game as he moved a step closer to a record-equalling 27th ATP 1000 crown.