Third seed Stanislas Wawrinka takes on 21st seed Pablo Carreno Busta in the Men's singles semi-final of BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells on Saturday.
Wawrinka survived in a hard-fought quarter-final clash against eighth seed Dominic Thiem yesterday. After clinching the first set without much hassle, he lost the second one 4-6 and the decider was another pulsating affair, which the Swiss star won 7-6 (2). On the other hand, the 26-year-old Spaniard defeated 27th seed Pablo Cuevas 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (4).
Wawrinka has been consistent in the new season but has struggled to get past the semi-final hurdle so far. The world number three opened the year with a semi-final defeat to Kei Nishikori in Brisbane and reached the last-four stages at the Australian Open after impressive wins against big names but ran into an in-form Roger Federer in the semi-final.
After the semi-final disappointment, Wawrinka suffered a shock first-round exit against world number 67 Damir Dzumhur but has recovered well at Indian Wells. After easy first round wins against Paolo Lorenzi and Philipp Kohlschreiber, Wawrinka battle and survived against Yoshihito Nishioka and Dominic Thiem.
Having beaten Carreno Busta twice (2013 Estoril - Oeiras, Geneva in 2016) in the past, Wawrinka starts as favourite to win the semi-final clash and possibly set up a final meeting with Federer.
However, Carreno Busta, despite not facing big names in the past, is heading into today's match on the back of a solid run in the new season. After reaching the semi-final at Buenos Aires, the Spaniard lost the final at Rio de Janeiro and again excited Sao Paulo in the semi-final stages. The world number 23, who has not had much trouble so far, has to be at his best in his first big clash in the ongoing tournament.
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