Is Rafael Nadal back? Maybe. But not today.
No. 6-seeded Milos Raonic stunned No. 3 Rafael Nadal on Friday, 4-6, 7-6(10), 7-5, saving three match points, to move into the semifinals at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.
“At the moments when I was playing those match points, it didn’t really feel like match points,” the Canuck said. “It was just like another point that I was trying to get through…Just sort of going through the paces at that moment of what do I need to do now, not really signifying it as a match point.”
OK. So he won.
It was the first time Nadal lost to a Canadian, and the Spaniard was surprisingly upbeat after the loss.
“I think I did well,” said Nadal. “I enjoyed the fact that I felt well with myself on court again. I felt competitive. I felt strong, with the right energy. I lost that match thinking much more positive things than negative ones.”
In the semifinals the Canuck will face No. 2 Roger Federer, who steamrolled past No. 9 Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-0.
Federer is 8-1 career against Raonic.
The women’s semifinals turned into a shit show on Friday night when it was determined that the winner of the semifinal that nobody wanted — No. 18 Jelena Jankovic beating No. 24 Sabine Lisicki in a low-quality 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 meeting — would face Simona Halep in the final after Serena Williams bowed out with injury.
Serena came onto the court for an interview regarding her injury, and spoke to ESPN personalities afterwards.
“A couple of day ago at practice I really injured my knee,” she said. “It was really sad…I could barely walk…I’m so excited I’ve been able to come out here and build so many memories…I couldn’t bend my knee and I thought, if you can’t bend your knee then you have to be smart about it…I just need a little time for it to get well…I really feel like I’ve won for me [just playing] and a lot of people…we’re all human, we all make mistakes.”
It was all good feelings and forgiveness for Serena who retired with a knee injury, 14 years after Venus drew the ire of international fans for retiring with a knee injury against Serena.
It was a slight fans thought was intentional, orchestrated by the proto-typical crazy tennis dad Richard Williams so the sisters wouldn’t have to face each other.
Can any length of ESPN Tom Rinaldi slow-motion Serena-is-awesome voice-over fix that?
That’s for you to decide.
In the end, Serena is injured — the super-intense world No. 1 would have played if she could — and now you have the Jankovic vs. Halep final.
Justice is served. Sit back — it makes sense on so many levels.
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