Nadal defeats Federer, plays Berdych in Indian Wells semis

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Rafael Nadal earned his nineteenth win over Roger Federer in the Indian Wells quarter finals with some ease, defeating the Swiss 6-4 6-2. Hampered by back issues, Federer struggled on serve for much of the match having to face 11 break points in total. After failing to make the breakthrough at 2-2, Nadal earned the break next time round after coming back from a 40-15 deficit in the game. Nadal would have two chances to break for the set in the next Federer game but failed to convert. It mattered little though as Nadal served out the set to 30, finishing with a wide serve on set point that Federer could only slice wide.

With the momentum behind him, Nadal took full charge breaking to love in the opening game of the second set after Federer could only volley wide on the Nadal backhand pass attempt. It took Federer until the eighth point of the set to get on the scoreboard but it mattered little as Nadal held to 15. A second break all but finished it off as a Nadal forehand passed the charging  Federer at the net for a 3-0 lead. Federer got one of the breaks back after taking one of only two opportunities in the match to do so but Nadal held steady from then on. He reestablished the double break lead to serve for the match at 5-2, taking the match on his second match point after a tame Federer forehand into the net.

Nadal will face Tomas Berdych who broke once in each set to defeat South African Kevin Anderson 6-4 6-4. Rumours had been circling pre-match that Berdych was feeling under the weather here but it didn’t appear to hamper him that much if it was the case.  Five aces in the first set backed a performance that saw him save three break points in the middle of the set before scoreboard pressure hit Anderson. Serving to stay in the set at 4-5, Anderson came out on the wrong side of a lengthy game to drop the set.

The same would happen again in the second, with serve remaining dominant and just one break point opportunity for Berdych until it came to Anderson serving at 4-5 once more. Just like the first set, he failed to deal with the pressure and would be broken once more – this time to 15 as Berdych moved into the semi finals.

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