Federer, Murray reach Indian Wells Tennis semis

INDIAN WELLS, California: World number two Roger Federer and number four Andy Murray booked the semi-final berths here at the Indian Wells hardcourt tennis tournament. Both will play each other in the semi-final at the tournament.

Federer battled past Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) while Murray spoiled Ivan Ljubicic''s 30th birthday celebrations with a 7-5, 7-6 (8/6) victory over the Croatian.

Federer looked to be cruising when he took a 4-1 lead in the second set but the four break points he saved in the third game foreshadowed trouble to come.

Verdasco finally capitalized on his chances against Federer''s serve, breaking him twice to take a 6-5 lead. But the 10th-seeded Spaniard failed to convert two set points in the 12th game as Federer broke him to force the tiebreaker.

Federer took a 6-2 lead in the decider, but still needed four match points to put Verdasco away.

Murray needed just over two hours to subdue Ljubicic, who had saved five match points in his win over Igor Andreev a day earlier. The Croatian led 5-4 in the second-set tiebreaker, but Murray won the next two points on his own serve, then claimed the victory on his second match point.

Murray broke Ljubicic for a 5-4 lead in the second set, in a game in which the Croatian was irked by an electronic replay call on break point.

Ljubicic was in position to play the ball, but let it go when he saw it land and the linesman called it out. Murray, who said he couldn''t see well from his position on the other side of the net, challenged, and the overrule on review sparked an outburst from Ljubicic.

In the remaining quarter-finals on Friday, Nadal will take on sixth-seeded Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro while defending champion and third seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia clashes with seventh-seeded American Andy Roddick.

In women''s semi-finals, defending champion Ana Ivanovic of Serbia faces 17-year-old Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who upset seventh-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska 7-6 (10/8), 6-4.

Ivanovic, seeded fifth, advanced on a walkover when Austrian Sybille Bammer pulled out with a shoulder injury.

Fourth seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva will face eighth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus - her doubles partner - in the other semi-final.