ThrowbackTimes Indian Wells: Novak Djokovic ousts Murray to set Roger Federer clash

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ThrowbackTimes Indian Wells: Novak Djokovic ousts Murray to set Roger Federer clash

In 2014, Novak Djokovic regained the ATP throne after Wimbledon, embracing another reign that would last until the closing stages of 2016 when Andy Murray moved ahead of him in a tense finish. Before Wimbledon, the Serb conquered the "Sunshine Double" in Indian Wells and Miami, claiming his second consecutive title in the desert to stand on three Indian Wells trophies.

A year later, Novak returned to California after claiming the Melbourne title, rising above all the rivals and as the favorite at the first Masters 1000 event of the season. The Serb toppled Marcos Baghdatis, Albert Ramos-Vinolas and John Isner before Bernard Tomic gave him a walkover in the quarters, propelling Djokovic into the sixth semi-final where he defeated Andy Murray 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 28 minutes.

It was the 25th clash on the Tour between two coevals and the 17th victory for Djokovic, who grabbed all six encounters versus Andy after Wimbledon 2013, dominating both serve and return to cross the finish line first and set Roger Federer title clash.

Serving under 50%, the Briton stood no chance against such a strong rival, hitting less than ten winners and spraying around 30 mistakes to plague his chances, losing half of the points in his games and suffering four breaks from six opportunities offered to Novak.

The Serb forged the victory in the shortest points up to four strokes despite the same number of service winners, doing more damage with the first groundstroke or return to seal the deal and stay on the title course.

In 2015, Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray in Indian Wells semi-final.

Djokovic held at 15 with a service winner in the first game and secured a break in game two after Murray's loose forehand, opening a 3-0 advantage after a couple of deuces in the third game.

Andy netted an easy forehand in the sixth game to get broken again, staying far behind and not imposing his shots. Out of a sudden, the Briton pulled one break back with a backhand winner after a lucky net cord, reducing the deficit before experiencing a break at love in game eight to hand the opener to Novak after 36 minutes.

With nothing working his way, Murray lost serve in the second set's second game. Novak brought the next game home with a service winner to shape a 6-2, 3-0 advantage and move closer to the finish line. Andy survived another challenging game to at least avoid a bagel, squandering two break chances in the next one as Djokovic won four points in a row to keep the serve intact and open a 4-1 lead.

The Briton saved a match point in the eighth game before Novak sealed the deal a couple of minutes later, advancing to his fifth final in the desert and setting a blockbuster duel with Roger Federer.