Federer suffers triple tennis blow in California

Switzerland’s Roger Federer has suffered defeat to Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the semifinal of the Indian Wells open, with Djokovic winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.

This content was published on March 20, 2011 - 12:02 and agencies

Djokovic, who meets Spain’s Rafael Nadal in the final, will now replace Federer as world number two when the new ATP rankings are issued on Monday. Spain’s Rafael Nadal is ranked number one.

The third blow for Federer on Saturday was losing the men’s doubles finals with countryman Stanislas Wawrinka.

In the singles event, an exciting deciding set was on the cards after Djokovic won the first set and Federer the second, each of them after breaking twice with scintillating form from the baseline.

At that point, Federer appeared to have the momentum but it was short-lived as he failed to hold serve in the opening game of the third set.

Although he broke back with a dazzling display in the fourth when his opponent double-faulted, the Swiss failed to hold serve in the fifth and seventh games as the Serb took control with steadier tennis.

Serving in a hotly contested eighth game, 2008 champion Djokovic squandered one match point before booking his place in the final on the second attempt when a fading Federer pushed a backhand service return long.

"I had my chances today in the singles," Federer said several hours later after he and Wawrinka were beaten 6-4 6-7 10-7 in the men's doubles final by Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov and Belgian Xavier Malisse.

"I wasn't far away at all today, because I really had him going but I guess he escaped.”

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