World number two Novak Djokovic eliminated Julien Benneteau of France in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open 2014 in Indian Wells on Friday. Eight years ago, the results were reversed in their first round encounter when then 18-year old Djokovic was send packing by Benneteau.
Djokovic did not face a lot of resistance and won the match 6-1, 6-3.
“I felt like I was very focused on the court from the start, and it’s what I was looking for,” he said. “First few matches I played good tennis but I had some ups and downs. Today was very stable from the first to the last point. He made a lot of unforced errors, and obviously I just needed to make him play an extra shot and serve well. I have done everything I wanted.”
Up next for Djokovic is John Isner of United States. Isner reached the semifinals after eliminating Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 7-6, 7-6. Isner upset Djokovic two years ago on his way to a final appearance for the first time at an ATP Masters 1000 event.
“I played John here a few years ago and I remember that match. 7-6 in the third, and also lost to him very close one in Cincinnati last year,” said Djokovic. “He’s definitely not somebody you like to play in the big heat with such serve. It’s very challenging because he doesn’t miss his serve too much, so you have to kind of be able to hold your composure from the first to the last point and be ready to play three tie-breaks.
“But I know that the key against both of these guys, whoever I play against, is return and efficient serving. Trying to just kind of stay tough and not let any concentration lapses, because then they can use it.”