Federer, Nadal On Brink Of Indian Wells SF; Raonic, Thiem Set Saturday Meeting
by Staff | March 15th, 2019, 12:36 am
  • 50 Comments

It was a largely anti-climatic day for the men at Indian Wells. Milos Raonic returned for the fourth to the Indian Wells final four after thumping newcomer Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3, 6-4 in their afternoon collision.

Raonic, who have to overcome a 4-1 third set deficit in the third round to Marcus Giron, has stepped up his game winning straights over Jan-Lennard Struff and today the Serbian teen.

“In a few key moments my serve really helped me out,” said Raonic who lost just four points on first serve. “I knew it was going to be tough. He’s won his last three matches against good players.

“So I knew he had nothing to lose, and I had to be really disciplined with myself, and I’m happy I was able to follow through.”

Raonic finished with 13 aces and saved all three break points faced. He will seek a second Indian Wells final appearance after 2016. It’s clearly a place he plays well at.

“I think the conditions are good for me, especially when the sun’s out,” said Raonic. “The court heats up a little bit. There is a good amount of jump on the court. This year it’s a little bit slower than the previous years, but it allows me to take a few more swipes at a few more shots, and I can do different things with my serve that I need to get ahead in the point.”

The 130th-ranked Kecmanovic who got in as a “lucky loser”, will climb into the Top 100 after his best week. The 19-year-old already has a wildcard into the Miami Masters.

In the evening, the quarterfinal between Gael Monfils and Dominic Thiem never happened as the Frenchman withdrew right before the match with an achilles injury. Monfils came out to address the crowd that he would not be able to play.

“I tried to warm up and my left Achilles was very painful since a couple days, and this morning was really tough for me, to run 100%, and tonight I tried to hit a little bit, and I cannot compete 100% tonight,” said Monfils.

Thiem was a perfect 4-0 against Monfils who played so well in destroying Philipp Kohlschreiber last night. Thiem awarded Monfils a walkover in Dubai last year due to a back injury.

So Thiem, into his first Indian Wells semifinal, will take on Raonic on Saturday. For Raonic, it will be the first Top 50 player he’s faced thus far.

Meanwhile, tomorrow will see Federer and Nadal try to take their rivalry to Saturday as both meet young 22-year-olds trying to play spoiler.

Federer takes on the Pole Hubert Hurkacz who had never won a Masters match before. Now after a Dubai quarterfinal and two wins over Kei Nishikori, Hurkacz has to be feeling good about playing someone he admired so much growing up.

“I watch his great matches. He’s unbelievable player,” Hurkacz said. “He had amazing results. I mean, winning that many Grand Slams, tournaments, yeah, for sure, he’s special. It’s gonna be fun to play against him.”

Nadal will bid for a sixth win over Karen Khachanov. After a poor start to 2019, The Russian has resumed his strong Masters play from his Paris title last November. Nadal edged the Russian in four tough sets at the US Open.

“I think it was one of the best matches from last year and in general, maybe, like, in terms of fight, spirit, intensity, the rallies, the atmosphere. Everything was amazing,” Khachanov said of that US Open match against Rafa.

“He’s one of the best tennis players, great champion. And nothing to lose, let’s say. You know, I’m playing better. Feeling more confident. It will be a good challenge, good match for me. I’m really looking forward to have a good match against him.”

Novak Djokovic also will be in action, in doubles after Roger and Rafa.

FRIDAY INDIAN WELLS SCHEDULE
STADIUM 1 11:00 Am
QF Hubert Hurkacz v 4 Roger Federer
Not Before 1:30 Pm
QF 12 Karen Khachanov v 2 Rafael Nadal
SF 6 Lukasz Kubot-Marcelo Melo v Novak Djokovic-Fabio Fognini

Not Before 6:30 Pm
SF (WC) Bianca Andreescu v 6 Elina Svitolina
Not Before 9:00 Pm
SF 23 Belinda Bencic v 8 Angelique Kerber


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Federer v Coric, Del Potro v Raonic In SFs at Indian Wells Sat.
2016 Finalist Milos Raonic Withdraws From Indian Wells
Federer Beats Down Nadal, Djokovic Falls To Kyrgios; Wawrinka vs. Thiem Thursday at Indian Wells
Nadal Pulls Out, Leaves Federer v Thiem For Indian Wells Title, Who’s The Pick?

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50 Comments for Federer, Nadal On Brink Of Indian Wells SF; Raonic, Thiem Set Saturday Meeting

FedExpress Says:

That Polish guy has a big serve and also serving well.

Will be a difficult task to break him


FedExpress Says:

And as i wrote it Fed breaks. Federer hitting his FH big thid season compared to last season.


FedExpress Says:

Never question the shot selection of a Champ but I feel sometimes he makes the wrong decicision. He had a golden chance for a double break. At 15-30 he had a passing shot to make. Why go to the middle?


Daniel Says:

I am liking Fed coming to the net a lot this week. He is not giving any rhythm to opponents.


Daniel Says:

FedEx, I feel he is trying to wrong foot a lot when he has a sitter. As the court is slow, many are anticipating rioght the shots and allows good defense. Sometimes he chooses wrong, but otherwise he is very successfull.
And this tourney he is more solid, Dubai he was still a bit rusty.


FedExpress Says:

Nervy game to seal the seet. Fist serve eluded him. Was 15-30 down and it went to deuce. But serves it out.

First set Federer.


Daniel Says:

Another 30 min Set. This way he will defintely play Miami, even if reaching finals / title here. Can’t see him playing any long match, even if is a 3 setter with Nadal tomorrow, it should not be long (below 2 hours). Both are playing more agreesive these days and on his serve he will atteck the net a lot.


FedExpress Says:

Break Federer


FedExpress Says:

What a point.


FedExpress Says:

Some fun points are being played out there.


Daniel Says:

Fed’s FH is on fire today. He is so confortable and unleashing some missiles


jatin Says:

I am hugely impressed with what I have seen of fed whole year (apart from that tsitsipas match). And now he is getting nearer to his Amazing 2017 level again. Its magical to see him play like this…


Daniel Says:

What a point by Fed to save the break.

Hurkacz lost a chance, his volleying is not killing the point today.


Daniel Says:

Indeed jatin, he hardly has any UE today and feeling the ball nicelly from all corners, slicing at will, volleying as good as ever, but the main thing if his FH. He is not even going for aces that much so confiant in his game he is right now.


FedExpress Says:

Another tense game to close out the match.

Clutch when he needed to be.

So one step closer to a Fedal clash.


skeezer Says:

Fed is through at another ATP semi final. Awesome.
Still predicting Nadal to come through and beat Fed. After all, he hasn’t beaten the GOAT since 2014. A long long long long time ago. He’s due. And Fed is a 37 yr old.


Daniel Says:

Only aspect he has to imoprove for tomorrow facing, most likelly Nadaa, is 1st serve percentage. 54% is low, Nadal is way better returned than Hurkacz


jatin Says:

Hope Rafa gets through his match which could be tough. Another Fedal clash is like a Dream come true.

I would like to see how Rafa respond this time against Fed and what changes he comes up with.
I don’t think Rafa’s new aggressive game would worry fed much since it plays right into his strengths.
With the way Fed is playing, I am confident about his chances.
Bring it on.


Daniel Says:

Any Fedal at this point is great, they are older, injury can happen any time. Also they should reach the 40 matches played milestone. If tomorrow happoens, it will be #39, just 1 away.

I am curious to see if Nadal has a “mental issue” (funny to type that) or can bring anything different; and/or if Fed will keep the “momentum” of last wins. Fed has a 7 straight sets won (all HC) and neither of those even went beyond 6-4.
Also, the last 5 matches Fed was super sharp and apart from IW 2017, they were all in finals, myabe he is due for a “bad day”.


FedExpress Says:

Khachanov already on fire with some spectacular winners to gain 3 BPs and breaks to lead 1-0

His defense is also good


FedExpress Says:

4 SPs saved by Khachanov on his serve and levels up. Got some big serves when he needed them.

The court is slow af though. Some FHs by Khachanov would have been clean winners on most other HCs.


Daniel Says:

Another close set between them. Out the last 5 sets they played only one was 6-4 and 3 tiebreaks. This will be the 4 breaker and third straight.


Daniel Says:

Kachnov needs a BH DTL shot and FH also, otherwise he will play thousands tiebreaks and lose all against Nadal


FedExpress Says:

If its one thing that Karen lacks then it is brain.


FedExpress Says:

He has a FH Daniel. A pretty good one. But this court doesnt allow to hit through cause is slow af.


jatin Says:

Rafa looking super solid.
1 set away from Dream Match.


FedExpress Says:

He has the same mental issues which Wawrinka had before his emergence as GS champ. Mentally fragile. And that loss to Nadal at the USO is maybe still in his mind. Should have led 2-0 or at least should have forced a 5th set


FedExpress Says:

The hair transplant didnt help Rafa I suppose.

Balding faster than Fed.


FedExpress Says:

Interesting. Nadal called the trainer.


FedExpress Says:

Rafa magic. Calls the trainer. Breaks Khachanov after that.

Game over.


fred stone Says:

K needs to hit to Rafa’s BH…


Daniel Says:

Nadal hering, right knee. He just hd an injury USO.

He probably is thinking if he should keep going and jeopardize clay or not. Monte Carlo is less than month away. He should be very careful and have to play semis tomorrow vc Fed.

Kacha gifting the break


fred stone Says:

…delete that.
An injured Rafa against Fed doesn’t look good for him.


FedExpress Says:

Karen outchoking every choker on the tour.

BP though


Daniel Says:

Nadal is hardly bending the knee to serve.

Kacha a bit stupid not prolonging the points or drop shoting.


Daniel Says:

Nadal hardly bending the knee to serve. Kacha a bit stu@#$ to no prolong the points and drop shoting.

Think Nadal will just end this set and call it quits. Can’t see him holding next game.


Daniel Says:

And he holds to love. Kacha may still give the match away, not taking opportunity and use of injured opponent.


Daniel Says:

One think that Kacha definitely doesn’t have is hand and touch, had a SP on his hands and throw it away. ill lose the set and match due to that shot.\
And he should have challenged that Nadal 1st serve Layhani corrected that was actually out, it would have been SP on second serve.
5-5


FedExpress Says:

WHAT A MISS BY KAREN ON SP. It was his point and misses a sitter.

Mental case.


FedExpress Says:

Almagro-esque choking going on


FedExpress Says:

Is Karen really that braindead in tennis terms?


Daniel Says:

At least he hit 2 drop shots and held the game, guarantee another tiebreak (that he most likely will lose as he lost other 4). But if he manages some good returns, can break to close the set, and if he wins 2nd set, we have to see what Nadal will do. Match already 2 hours and 05 min.


Daniel Says:

He must be the worst reader of the game, and IQ below 80.


FedExpress Says:

Another TB and another NID outcome in coming


FedExpress Says:

Karen reached another level of mugness.


Daniel Says:

Kachanov must be filling like s#$%t. Can’t win a tiebreak jot even against a one legged Nadal.

Maybe with the 2 sets win, Nadal can recover in time for tomorrow. If he kept going its because its not a big” injury”


FedExpress Says:

Fed is the fav imo. He knows what to do and has done that perfectly the last 5 times. He hasnt been broken by Nadal since the 5th set at AO 17.

He has to execute the game plan and he should win.


Skeezer Says:

Rafa looking agile and strong as he Finishes off K.
What knee? Lol.


FedExpress Says:

Regarding Karen

Choking can become a bad habit. That simple put away at the net on SP. Even before that he had a mid short ball to put away a fairly simple FH winner and he still choose the wrong end and lacked depth and penetration.


Solomon Says:

I hope Nadal doesn’t play tomorrow if he’ll injure the knee further. He should sit out and prepare for clay instead. Otherwise he might be out indefinitely.


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