Federer is the player to watch this season. Reuters

Roger Federer defeated Kevin Anderson 7-5, 6-1 on Thursday which not only earned him a semifinal spot at Indian Wells but also moved him up in the world rankings to no.5.

Federer, who is back in top form after winning the Dubai title recently, reached the semis by beating South Africa's Anderson in straight sets. The Swiss master said he is relieved after having a not-so-good year in 2013.

"It was a really good match for me," Federer said. "There is a sense of calmness to my game now. That grit and wanting to win badly feeling is out there, which was hard to find at times last year.

"You know, I gave myself chances and started with a few more returns in play at five-all. I was just also now in the match at that point, feeling good movement-wise, feeling good absorbing his pace, and then also being aggressive myself."

Federer will look to take all the positives ahead in the semis, where he will meet Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov.

"He was playing really well in practice," Federer said about his next opponent. "He really takes the ball early. He likes to take advantage of the fact when there is a short ball he just smashes it, and he's got a great serve. Definitely going to be some interesting shots out there."

Dolgopolov is coming from a straight set win over Canada's Milos Raonic 6-3, 6-4. The world no.31 was also responsible for the third-round upset of world number one Rafael Nadal.

"I'm quite pleased how I anticipated on his serve and have seen the toss of the ball and was really, really concentrated to get those serves back," Dolgopolov said after the quarterfinal win.

Federer is looking for a doubles win as well with compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka at the Indian Wells after defeating fourth seed pair of India's Leander Paes and Czech Republic's Radek Stepanek in the quarters. The Swiss duo beat Paes and Stepanek 3-6, 7-6 (6), 4-10 in 79 minutes. They will face Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares in the semis.

Meanwhile, despite Paes' exit, there is some good news for India from the Indian Wells as Sania Mirza and her doubles partner Cara Black from Zimbabwe defeated Lucie Hradecka and Jie Zheng 6-4, 3-6, 10-7 to reach the final.

The Sania-Cara pair has not been in top form this season, crashing out of the first round in four tournaments and reaching only the quarterfinals in the other two. The fifth seed Indo-Zimbabwean duo will now look to win the $5,946,740 hard court event.