Third seed Stan Wawrinka is through to the BNP Paribas Open final after his most dominant display of the tournament saw him beat Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals on Saturday in Indian Wells.
"It's an amazing result to be in the final here, especially in Indian Wells, one of the best Masters 1000, to have a chance to play for a trophy tomorrow here. It's great," said Wawrinka.
"I am really happy with the way I'm playing, and I'm really enjoying to be here and playing a final tomorrow."
The 31-year-old Wawrinka is bidding to win his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown this week, to add to his 2014 Monte-Carlo title. He will face fellow Swiss Roger Federer in the championship match.
"I know when I start to win matches in the tournament, I start to get the confidence, the good feeling with the ball, with the way I'm playing in the tournament. I know I play better and better," said Wawrinka.
"Normally [in a] semifinal/final, I always play some good matches. Doesn't mean I always win, but I know that I'm going to play some good tennis."
Wawrinka had beaten Carreno Busta in their previous two career meetings and had the Spaniard under pressure early at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. After being denied a break point chance in the sixth game, the Swiss created two more opportunities in the eighth game and converted his first with a forehand winner.
In a nine-minute, 53-second third game of the second set, Wawrinka converted his fifth break point to assume a 2-1 lead. From there, the Lausanne native pulled away, breaking again in the seventh game before claiming victory in 65 minutes. The Swiss - a three-time Grand Slam champion - dropped only 10 points on serve in the contest.
"I mixed a lot of speed and spin. It's not always easy here. I was mixing it up, so it was not easy for him to find a solution," said Wawrinka.
Wawrinka got through to his first semifinal in Indian Wells the hard way, winning his previous two matches against Yoshihito Nishioka and Dominic Thiem in third set tie-breaks. The tough battles helped bring out his best form, Wawrinka said. “[They helped] a lot. Especially against Thiem, it was a high quality match. It helps when you win those tough matches. Today I was expecting a tough one. I’m really happy to get through to the final for the first time.
"For me most of the time I try to learn from what I maybe did wrong in that match, why I was that close to losing, why I wasn't playing great, why I wasn't doing the right thing," said Wawrinka.
"For sure, sometimes when you save match point or [your opponent] serves twice for the match, you get a little bit lucky, but you push to have luck on your side, also. You don't just get the luck like that (snapping fingers)."
The right-hander has a 12-3 mark on the season, highlighted up till now by semifinals in Brisbane (l. to Nishikori) and at the Australian Open (l. to Federer).
Carreno Busta had saved two match points in overcoming Pablo Cuevas in the quarterfinals to reach his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semifinal. The 25-year-old Spaniard drops to a 0-15 mark against Top 10 player. He came into Indian Wells in a rich vein of form, having reached semifinals in Buenos Aires (l. to Dolgopolov) and Sao Paulo (l. to Cuevas) as well as finishing runner-up in Rio de Janeiro (l. to Thiem). The Spaniard is projected to break into the Top 20 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time on Monday.