Finishing the previous season on the verge of the top-15, Novak Djokovic was ready to rumble in 2007, kicking off the action with the title in Adelaide and reaching the fourth round at the Australian Open. Mikhail Youzhny toppled the Serb under the roof in Marseille and Rotterdam before arranging another clash with Federer, taking a set in the quarter-final in Dubai and still losing in three sets.
Entering the first Masters 1000 event of the season in Indian Wells, Novak advanced to his first semi-final at that level, playing well in the opening four rounds to win all encounters in straight sets. Djokovic got broken three times against Robby Ginepri in the first clash, beating the American 6-4, 6-4 and dominating on both serve and return to give only seven games away versus Evgeny Korolev and Julien Benneteau, racing into the last eight.
In the quarters, Djokovic defeated world no. 15 David Ferrer 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 17 minutes for the best result at the premium ATP level, losing 17 points in ten service games and suffering one break from four chances offered to David.
On the other hand, Novak notched three breaks to have the upper hand and find himself in the last four where he would face his coeval and a good friend Andy Murray.
"Yeah, I'm looking forward to facing Andy Murray in the semis if he wins later today. There is no pressure ahead of that match, I know I will have to face the rivals from the top all the time, just trying to play my game and stay focused.
It doesn't matter that much who is on the other side of the net. Andy Murray, Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet, and I have improved a lot in the past year and a half; it's good for tennis to have some new faces. We are also very emotional, and that attracts people.
Tennis is an individual sport and we all look are own way. It doesn't matter who is ahead or behind me, but it's good for the game to have more youngsters around. I know Andy since we were 12 and practice together. We played against each other in juniors a couple of times and once on the Tour, last year in Madrid.
It was a difficult match and I won it. As I said, I'm trying my best to improve volleys and come to the net more often. The players are speedy and are returning much better than some 15 years ago; the game has changed."
Before the encounter, Novak Djokovic said he and Andy had known each other since they were 12, battling on the junior level and in Madrid last fall, practicing together and playing the doubles in Australia a couple of years ago.