Federer Ready For Nadal Challenge

Federer Ready For Nadal Challenge

Roger Federer does not feel past battles with Rafael Nadal will have any bearing on Saturday’s semi-final at Indian Wells. The legendary duo have squared off 38 times in their glittering careers, with Spain’s Nadal holding a 23-15 winning advantage.

However, Federer has won their past five meetings and took care of business in straight sets when they last met in the Shanghai Masters final in October 2017. The Swiss ace progressed to the last four with a 6-4 6-4 triumph over Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz on Friday and, while excited to face his old adversary, he played down the historical factor.

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“I don’t think those matches matter that much, to be honest,” he said. “A lot of time has gone by, unfortunately maybe for the rivalry, for us, or for me. It’s always better to keep on playing against him. “The fans are maybe more excited about us playing than me as I’ve always got to be focused on my own game but it always brings extra energy into the stadium and for the both of us.”

Nadal pulled off a hard-fought 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-2) victory over Russia’s Karen Khachanov but required treatment on his right knee during the contest and is hopeful of being fit to face Federer. “I will try my best to recover – these are the matches I want to play,” said the Majorcan.

“To play against my biggest rival at the later stages of our careers and to keep competing against each other is great.” Austrian seventh seed Dominic Thiem face Canada’s 13th seed Milos Raonic in the other semi-final.

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