For the 28th time Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will on the ATP World Tour. This afternoon their rivalry will debut in the state of California home of the BNP Parisbas Open in Indian Wells.
Nadal leads the series 18-9 and based on Federer’s comments, Roger thinks Rafa’s the favorite in their semifinal today because of the slow Stadium 1 court.
“I think this and Miami probably plays best for Rafa on hard court, you know, because it’s very slow,” Federer said yesterday. “Miami can be windy, which I don’t think he minds. I mean, I don’t mind that, either. Just the slowness of the courts helps his play. He has such great movement that obviously this is a court that works well for him. I think also the results show he’s been incredibly consistent here particularly here over the past years.
“I don’t know how consistent he’s been in Miami, but he’s been also very tough to beat over there.”
Nadal countered, suggesting the court speed is no different than other hardcourts.
“My feeling this court is not slower than most of the hard court courts from the rest of the season,” Nadal said. “That’s my feeling.
That the ball flies quick here. The ball is fast, my opinion, and the surface is normal hard court. Not quicker than the rest; not slower than the rest.
“I feel good. I like this court. I don’t know, maybe next year will be much faster if Roger says, no? I have already this week a lot of time violation. That’s the true.”
Federer also said he admired Nadal’s commitment to the game and the work he puts in to improving.
“He’s got a great work ethic, and obviously he’s one of the great players, you know, of all time,” Federer said. “I have had some great matches with him all around the world by now, you know.”
Federer advanced to the semifinals after pounding Juan Martin Del Potro 62, 63 for a fourth time this year. The three-time Indian Wells champion was pleased with his play against the Argentine.
“I did play well against Raonic and struggled against Bellucci,” said Federer. “So this was definitely a great match. I sort of expected myself to come out and play a good match today after the struggle I had against Bellucci. I don’t usually struggle, you know, back to back days, so this was for me a really good match against a great player. I’m happy I was happy to maintain the great streak I’ve got going against him this year.”
Nadal. who advanced after edging David Nalbandian in three sets, is looking forward to another showdown with Federer.
“Always are special matches, no, especially because always are in very important matches for both of us,” Nadal said. “That makes always the match very special. But even if it’s not the final, being in semifinals is important match. But I play always against Roger means a little bit more than against the rest of the opponents because, you know. I am playing probably against the best of the history, and because I played probably the most important matches in my career against him and probably him against me.
So that’s why it makes the match a little bit more special than the rest.”
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