Federer's quest for six still alive as he reaches Indian Wells semis
Roger Federer saw off Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets to reach the Indian Wells Masters semi-finals and keep his hopes of a sixth title alive.
The Swiss, a winner between 2004 and 2006, and in 2012 and 2017, is still yet to drop a set this week after easing to a 6-4 6-4 victory to advance to the semi-finals, where he could face second seed Rafael Nadal.
A break early on in either set was enough for Federer, who staved off two break points himself, one when he was serving for the match.
Hurkacz, the world number 67, had knocked out Lucas Pouille, Kei Nishikori and Denis Shapovalov to reach the quarter-finals, but the 22-year-old was unable to find a way past an in-form Federer, who won his 100th ATP Tour title in Dubai earlier this month.
Smooth Sailing @rogerfederer claims a routine 6-4, 6-4 win in one hour and 13 minutes over Hubert Hurkacz to reach the semifinals. He will meet the winner of Rafael Nadal vs. Karen Khachanov.#BNPPO19 pic.twitter.com/Pv9RZbugHn— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 15, 2019
Federer claimed his first break in the fifth game when Hurkacz pushed a forehand long, and the Pole continued to make unforced errors at key times as his opponent wrapped up the first set in 31 minutes.
The Swiss was victorious in Hurkacz's second service game of the next set, with Federer then coming out on top in a battle at the net en route to moving 3-1 up.
Hurkacz had his first break point in the next Federer service game, but the 37-year-old whipped a delicious forehand winner past his opponent and held.
There was another chance for Hurkacz as Federer fell 30-40 down when serving for the match, yet the five-time champion reeled off three points in a row to advance to the last four with his 66th win at the competition.