An intriguing quarter-final will be featured on Friday afternoon in the American desert, as world No. 3 Rafael Nadal meets Milos Raonic for a sixth time on the ATP World Tour. Nadal leads the head-to-head 5-0 and will be looking to add another victory en route to the final four at Indian Wells.
Seeded third at the first Masters 1000 event of the season, Nadal earned a comfortable straight sets victory over France’s Gilles Simon to advance to the quarter-final round of the tournament. Nadal’s only hiccup in the match came when he attempted to serve out the contest up 5-2; he allowed Simon to win the next two games before he secured the win.
“Today I think I played a solid match against a tough opponent like Simon that is not easy to play tactically,” Nadal said. “Tactically I think I played a very positive match. In general, I played solid. Only two bad games with my serve, I played bad.”
The Spaniard will now come up against Raonic, who needed a little over an hour to beat another Spaniard in Tommy Robredo to breeze into the final eight. He won the match 6-3, 6-2.
“He’s an opponent that you don’t want to play against because you play under a lot of pressure, every point,” Nadal said of his next opponent. “What happened today with my serve twice cannot happen the next day if I want to have any chance… So it will be a very tough match. I know I need to be at my 100 per cent to have any chance.”
This marks the sixth time that Nadal and Raonic will meet on the professional tour, with Nadal holding an impenetrable 5-0 record against the Canadian. The last two times they met was in the Miam Masters quarter-final last year and in the final of the Rogers Cup in 2013, the most recent of which being the first time that Nadal dropped a set against the Canadian. While this may be another three-set encounter, the Spaniard should advance to the semi-final in the end.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal in Three Sets
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