Djokovic, ranked number three in the world, defied the blustery conditions to beat the world number two 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 46 minutes.
Federer, the 13-time Grand Slam champion, who is in search of his first title of 2009, comfortably won the first set as Djokovic found his feet, but could find no answers after that - finishing with 35 unforced errors.
"Novak played bad at the beginning, and I finished worse than him," said Federer, who lost seven straight games bridging the second and third sets.
That span included four breaks of Federer's serve, after he had had surrendered his serve just once in the tournament and contributed to a rare glimpse of temper from the normally restrained Swiss, who broke a racquet after yet another forehand miss in the third game of the final set.
"You try hard and then it's just not working," Federer said.
"Today it is different just because there's so much wind as well. Once you start feeling bad, it's kind of tough to regroup."
Djokovic said the windy weather and some early nerves both played a role in his shaky start.
Big-serving Del Potro, who came back from 3-0 down in the third set, will face Britain's Andy Murray for a place in the final.
The tall Argentine takes his place in the last four of a Masters event for the first time with the crowd-pleasing victory. It was also his first win over Nadal at the fifth attempt.
"Maybe it was wonderful for the crowd but it was terrible for me," said Nadal.
"I think I played really bad all the time. That's the truth of this match. Later when I was 3-0 up in the third I played worse.
"I had the match; it was an amazing disaster."
In an atmosphere more akin to a football match, Del Potro, who lost to Nadal in Indian Wells last month, was roared on by hundreds of Argentinian fans who sensed an upset from the moment their man broke in the first set to go 5-4 up.
Having served out to win the opening set, Del Potro broke early in the second but the 20-year-old from Tandil then faced the inevitable fightback from the Spaniard, who played some powerful strokes around the court to win the second.
Nadal looked on course for victory when he broke twice early in the third to go 3-0 up but with the fans chanting his name, Del Potro, looking wild in his sleeveless shirt and headband, found the strength to mount a revival of his own.
The Argentine broke back twice to go to 3-3, levelling the set with a brilliant cross-court drive.
Both players then stuck largely to the baseline, but at 6-5 to Del Potro, Nadal had to serve to save the match and found himself 40-15 down after going to the net and putting the ball out wide to the right.
Nadal saved three match points, with an ace bringing him back to deuce, and when Del Potro hit the net and then drove long the set was tied at 6-6.
Luck seemed to be with Nadal when at 2-2 in the tie-break his shot hit the top of the net and dropped down for a point, but once again Del Potro, celebrating every point with a fist pump, found another burst of determination and took the next five points to win.
Spaniard Nadal broke service twice in the first set to take it 7-5 and, after the determined and aggressive Gil broke early to go 2-0 up in the second, Nadal took control to close it out 6-3.
Nadal will face the winner of the third-round tie between Russian Igor Andreev and Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka.
Nadal's powerful serve was the basis of his victory - he produced five aces and won 76 per cent of points on first service.
Sixth-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro secured his place in the next round with a 6-4 6-1 victory over Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic.
The impressive 20-year-old won 92 per cent of points on his first serve and converted four of five break points for victory.
Another Serb Viktor Troicki dealt with German lucky loser Bjorn Phau 6-4 6-3 to reach the fourth round at Key Biscayne for the second year in a row.
World number two Roger Federer and American favourite Andy Roddick both cruise through in straight sets in their third-round matches at the Miami Masters.
Roddick survived a gruelling first set tiebreak against Russian Dmitry Tursunov, which he won 11-9, before going on to ease through the second set 6-2.
Federer enjoyed a routine 6-4 6-1 win over German Nicolas Kiefer but will face a surprise opponent in the fourth round after 15th-ranked Spaniard Tommy Robredo lost 7-5 6-3 to American qualifier Taylor Dent.
Dent's career looked finished in 2007 after he spent most of the year in a cast following a serious back injury, but has come back impressively.
Rafael Nadal powered his way to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Andy Murray on a windy Sunday afternoon at the BNP Paribas Open, winning his second Indian Wells title in three years.
No. 1 Nadal’s low, hard groundstrokes gave him an edge in the gusty conditions over No. 4 Murray, whose game relies more on pace and a mix of shots.
Nadal, a 22-year-old Spaniard, added the championship to the Australian Open title he won earlier this year, and avenged a loss to Murray in the Rotterdam final.
Vera Zvonareva defeated defending champion Ana Ivanovic 7-6 (5), 6-2 to win the women’s title. Zvonareva a day earlier teamed with Victoria Azarenka to take the women’s doubles.
Nadal rode his usual powerful forehands to the lopsided win over Murray, hitting 10 winners from that side to Murray’s one. Nadal also was efficient at the net, winning eight of 11 points to Murray’s 5-of-10.
With the swirling wind making the service toss difficult, neither player served an ace.
No. 6 Zvonareva was the steadier player in the women’s title match.
Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reache…
AP - Mar 20, 8:51 pm EDT
With the gusts making even some routine shots extremely tricky, the 24-year-old Russian made far fewer mistakes than her Serbian opponent.
Zvonareva joined Lindsay Davenport as the only women to win the singles and doubles title at Indian Wells in the same year. Davenport did it twice, in 1997 and 2000.
In the singles final this time, the wind swirled around the stadium in the 40-mph range, with both players often tossing the ball to serve only to have to catch it and try again.
Serving on the first point of the tiebreaker, Ivanovic tossed the ball up, it went sailing some three feet behind her, bounced on the court and kept bouncing away, swept off the court by the wind.
Ivanovic finally served and won the point, but a string of errors cost her the rest of the tiebreaker and plagued her in the second set.
Zvonareva, who won her ninth career singles title and second of the year, made 23 unforced errors, half of Ivanovic’s total. Ivanovic also had five double faults, Zvonareva one.
Those mistakes negated Ivanovic’s winners—she hit 29 to Zvonareva’s five.
The victory evened Zvonareva’s record against Ivanovic to 4-4.
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP)—Rafael Nadal edged Andy Roddick 6-4, 7-6 (4) Saturday to move into the BNP Paribas final.
No. 1 Nadal, constantly powering his forehand into the corner to Roddick’s backhand, ended several long rallies by passing Roddick with a shot down the line when the American came to the net.
Nadal, the 2007 Indian Wells champion, improved to 5-2 against the seventh-ranked Roddick.
The 22-year-old Spaniard next will play Andy Murray, who beat Roger Federer 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 for his fourth straight victory against the former world No. 1.
INDIAN WELLS, California (AFP) - Scotland's Andy Murray defeated world number two Roger Federer 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 here Saturday to reach the final of the Indian Wells ATP Masters series tournament.
Murray, the world number four, has now won six of his eight career meetings against the mighty Swiss, including four in a row since losing to Federer in last September's US Open final.
Federer did little to help himself reverse that trend, with an uncharacteristic 32 unforced errors.
Federer was able to raise his game in the second set, but with Murray applying pressure from all over the court he couldn't find an answer in the third.
"Way too many errors," said Federer, who was playing his first tournament since falling to world number one Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final.
The 27-year-old, who will become a father in the summer, spent the intervening six weeks recovering from a lingering back injury.
In the final, Murray will face either Nadal or seventh-seeded American Andy Roddick.
Murray is bidding for his third title of the season, despite being slowed by an ankle injury and a virus.
The 21-year-old Briton had a worrying moment in the third set when he appeared to twist an ankle and fell to the ground with a cry of pain on the second point of the fourth game - but he still managed to break Federer for a 3-1 lead.
He broke again to lead 5-1, and in the next game saved two break points before sealing the win on his fourth match point with a 130 mile per hour service winner that Federer could only smack out of court.
"He's a great counterpuncher," Federer said of what made the young Scot such a tough opponent.
"He reads the game really well. He's got great feel. He knows he doesn't have to play close to the lines because he knows he can cover the court really well. I think that calms him down mentally."
Federer's greatest chance came early, when he took a 0-40 lead on Murray's serve in the fourth game of the opening set. But five straight wayward backhands cost him the game.
"I would have loved to go in front with the lead," Federer said. "We had a tough rally as well at 30-40. Who knows if I maybe win that point, maybe he can't play the way he played all match long."
Federer added that he could only turn his attention to the Masters series tournament starting in Miami next week.
"I have to look forward," he said.
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP)—No. 7 Andy Roddick beat defending champion Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-2 Friday and will face No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open.
Nadal, trying for his second Indian Wells title in three years, rolled to a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Juan Martin del Potro.
No. 2 Roger Federer, who won the title three consecutive years beginning in 2004, faces No. 4 Andy Murray on Saturday in the other semifinal.
On the women’s side, defending champion Ana Ivanovic and Vera Zvonareva earned spots in Sunday’s final. Ivanovic defeated upset-minded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3. Zvonareva beat Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 6-3.
Roddick’s game was solid all-around against No. 3 Djokovic. The error-prone Serbian made 30 unforced errors, 18 more than his American opponent.
“I don’t think he had his best day, by any means,” Roddick said. “I mixed up the paces pretty well. I hit my forehand when I had to. The chip was a pretty good neutralizing shot for me.
“I was hitting it pretty firm, and I didn’t really miss any returns. I think that’s a big thing for me.”
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP)—Andy Roddick beat defending champion Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-2 Friday to reach the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open.
No. 7 Roddick’s game was solid all-around against No. 3 Djokovic. The error-prone Serbian made 30 unforced errors, 18 more than his American opponent.
The semifinals appearance will be Roddick’s third at Indian Wells. He lost to Lleyton Hewitt in 2005 and to Rafael Nadal in 2007.
Off to a career-best 23-3 start this season, Roddick next faces the winner of the quarterfinal between No. 1 Nadal and No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro.
Le champion de tennis Roger Federer a annoncé jeudi sur son site internet que sa compagne Mirka Vavrinec était enceinte et attendait le premier enfant du couple pour cet été.
"Un rêve se réalise pour nous. Nous adorons les enfants et nous sommes impatients d?être parents pour la première fois", a déclaré le Suisse sur son site www.rogerfederer.com.
Mirka Vavrinec, 30 ans, est une ancienne joueuse professionnelle d'origine slovaque. Elle partage la vie de l'ex-N.1 mondial, 27 ans, depuis l'an 2000.
OPEN D'AUSTRALIE - FINALE MESSIEURS
Rafael Nadal (ESP/N.1) bat Roger Federer (SUI/N.2) 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 6-2 en 4h23.
L'histoire est en marche en ce début de saison 2009. Difficile encore de savoir pour qui. Rafael Nadal vient de confirmer qu'il n'est pas seulement le faire-valoir de luxe du meilleur joueur de tous les temps. En 48 heures, le N.1 mondial a joué dix sets de tennis sensationnel et passé 09h37 sur le court pour conclure sa quinzaine sur un premier titre du Grand Chelem, arraché avec pugnacité des mains de Roger Federer. De sa victoire sur Fernando Verdasco vendredi à celle sur le Suisse dimanche, son exploit va marquer les esprits. A 22 ans, il est devenu le premier Espagnol à s'imposer en Australie. Il compte six titres du Grand Chelem à son palmarès, et ce, sur trois surfaces différentes. Seuls Jimmy Connors, Mats Wilander et Andre Agassi avaient réussi cet exploit. Il rejoint enfin Federer parmi les 14 joueurs qui ont gagné au moins trois titres différents du Grand Chelem.
Tête en haut sur le gazon ou la terre européenne, tête en bas sur le plexicushion de Pékin ou Melbourne, Rafael Nadal fournit le même travail de sape. Mentalement, le jeune homme cumule la rage de vaincre, qui lui a permis de résister au meilleur de Verdasco et au Federer le plus ambitieux, et la compassion (C'est lui qui console Federer lors de la remise des trophées). Physiquement, il ne connaît pas le doute. Techniquement, il s'améliore et se remet en question en permanence. En finale de l'Open d'Australie, au terme d'un match magnifique, sans le rythme de la finale de Wimbledon 2008, mais sans concession, Nadal s'est juste montré plus complet que Federer. Le Suisse avait pourtant tous les atouts dans sa main.
Nadal, le rival idéal et implacable
Roger Federer a eu sa chance à chaque set sauf au dernier. Au premier set, Federer menait 4-2 avant de perdre deux fois son service à 4-3 puis à 5-6 (7-5). Au second set, il débreake à 3-3 avant d'enlever le set trois jeux plus tard (6-3). La troisième manche est la plus douloureuse. Federer obtient six balles de break : trois au 9e jeu (4-5), et trois au 11e jeu (5-6), en vain (6-7 au final après avoir eu un mini-break d'avance). Il survole la quatrième manche malgré un premier débreak de Nadal (2-2). Comme au jeu décisif du troisième set, c'est une multiplication incompréhensible d'erreurs dans la dernière manche qui a précipité sa chute.
Contre Fernando Verdasco, Rafael Nadal avait trouvé les ressources pour contrer un joueur au sommet de son art brutal et brillant. Contre Roger Federer, le Majorquin a su tenir tête à son adversaire le plus redoutable au meilleur de ses intentions. Rarement sur une autre surface que le gazon, Federer avait réussi à poser son jeu face à "Rafa". Le revers pris tôt, à peine recouvert ou bloqué, a eu son effet sur le lift excité des coups droits adverses, son coup droit décroisé a souvent fait mouche.