Caroline Wozniacki celebrates after she wins a point over Angelique Kerber… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)
Caroline Wozniacki made it back to the BNP Paribas Open women's final at Indian Wells on Friday night, fighting her way through a 2-hour 28-minute marathon that was mostly distinguishable by moonballs and service breaks.
Eighth-seeded Wozniacki of Denmark beat fourth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5. In the deciding set, there were seven service breaks, and Wozniacki held on despite giving up leads of 4-1 and 5-3. There were 14 service breaks in the match.
Wozniacki, a former No. 1 player who took the BNP Paribas Open title in 2011, will play the winner of the late match between Russian players Maria Kirilenko and Maria Sharapova. Sharapova, also a former No. 1 player and champion here in 2006, was the highest-seeded player of the semifinalists at No. 2.
The final will be played Sunday.
The men's quarterfinals brought one surprise. Andy Murray lost.
The Scottish star, No. 3 in the world, who won the Olympic gold medal, then the U.S. Open and made it all the way to the Australian Open final before losing to Novak Djokovic, met his match in No. 7 Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina. Del Potro, former U.S. Open champion, whose forehand is not so much a forehand as a cannon, won the 2-hour 32-minute tussle, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-1.
"He played like somebody who has won a lot of matches recently," said Murray, who hasn't.
Murray took a long break between the Australian and Indian Wells to work on his fitness. On Friday, his fitness was fine, but his game was inconsistent. He forced only two break points and converted neither. He also had eight double faults.
Del Potro entered the match with a 14-3 season record and one tour title already this year.
He will play No. 1 and red-hot Djokovic of Serbia in a Saturday semifinal. Djokovic's victory, a 6-3, 6-1 romp past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, extended his current winning streak to 22 matches, including 17 to start this season.
"It was a day for me without sensation," Tsonga said.
The other men's semifinal Saturday will match Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych, who advanced Thursday.