Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday night in the earliest meeting between the two rivals since they first played each other in 2004.
“Well, it’s amazing, no?” Nadal said in an on-court interview after the match. “For me, just to be back in the competition is fantastic. I had matches in the Latin American clay-court season; now I’m here for first time in seven months on a hardcourt tournament, so very happy to be in semifinal.”
“I don’t think Roger felt 100 percent tonight. Always it is a very, very special match against Roger, the best player in history. I feel like it is a classic match whenever we play.”
“Both of us tried to play our best. I played much better than yesterday. My movements today were much, much better than yesterday, so I’m very happy for that, especially after a long match yesterday, to be able to compete well the next day.”
“If I think that I am better than him because I beat him 19 against 10, I will be very stupid and very arrogant. This is not the case.”
Rafa is through to his eighth consecutive semi-final and fifth in Indian Wells. He lifted trophies in 2007 (d. Djokovic) and 2009 (d. Murray). He and Federer are tied for the most ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns with 21. Rafa will face off against Tomas Berdych for a place in the final on Saturday.