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Nadal Locks His Place at Indian Wells Semi-final

Author : Odisha Today Bureau | Posted on: 2019-03-16

The most awaited sporting rivalries will be renewed at the BNP Paribas Open after Rafael Nadal put his trademark grit on full display on Friday to qualify for the semi-final to fight against his most old rivalry Roger Federer.

 

Both the multiple Grand Slam champions won their quarter-finals on Friday, although Nadal in particular had to work hard to overcome Russian Karen khachanov 7-6(2), 7-6(2) in a match during which he required treatment on the knee.

 

“I am used to playing with some issues, so I just tried to be focused. It’s one of these victories today I’m really proud of,” Nadal told reporters, declining to absolutely guarantee that he would be okay to play on Saturday. “Nobody can guarantee anything about what can happen the next day, but of course my goal is to be ready for tomorrow.”

 

Federer, meanwhile, broke Pole Hubert Hurkacz once in each set for a 6-4 6-4 win in the first career meeting between the pair and was perhaps more bothered by his early start. “It’s a bit different,” the Swiss told reporters. “They warned me they were going to put me on at 11.00 (a.m.). What can I say? You have no choice.

 

“I’m very excited to be in the semis here, not that I didn’t expect it. I’m holding serve comfortably, in a good place mentally when I go into my service games.” Hurkacz had two break points but could seize neither.

 

Nadal will face Roger Federer today in Semi-final. The Spaniard leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 23-15, but Federer has won two of their three clashes in the desert. The Swiss star also leads their hard-court rivalry 11-9 and has won their past five matches on this surface.

 

The Spaniard suffered from knee soreness in the second set against Khachanov, but said he still plans to take the court for Saturday's match.

 

“I love to play on hard, but my body doesn't love it that much… I am used to playing with some issues, so I just tried to be focused,” said Nadal. “Of course, my goal is to be ready for tomorrow…[but] I cannot guarantee how I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning.”

 

Federer, 37, warned fans not to read too much into his winning streak against 32-year-old Nadal. “I lot has happened in the past 18 months,” he said. “You can’t just copy and paste and play exactly the same thing again.

 

Saturday’s other semi-final will match Austrian seventh seed Dominic Thiem against Canadian 13th seed Milos Raonic.

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