Rafael Nadal beats Kei Nishikori to reach semis at Indian Wells [PHOTOS]

The fourth seed and three-time champion Rafael Nadal avanced to the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open with a 6-4, 6-3 win over fifth-seed Kei Nishikori on Friday afternoon.

Nishikori broke early and had points for a 4-1 double-break lead, before Rafa found his groove.

Our champ fought back to level at 3-3 and from 4-4 reeled off five straight games to steal the opener and take a commanding lead in the second set. Rafa had a point for 4-0, before Nishikori halted his momentum. After getting a foothold in the set, Nishikori then brought himself back into contention with a break in the seventh game. But Rafa regained his advantage in the following game and served out victory in one hour and 33 minutes.

Rafa will face either top seed Novak Djokovic or No. 7 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last four.

Source: BNP Paribas Open


  1. Really happy that Rafa has got this far. I predicted otherwise. However, after watching joker walk all over Joe, I dread to think about tomorrow. I hope it is not a beat down again. I hope Rafa does not leave his leave those cross court ball hanging egging nole to go BH down the line. He is not going to dump BH in the nets like kei. I just cant fathom what his team is doing to help Rafa with his serve. I think NOTHING. Though he was jamming Kei with the body serve today, it was just spinning in and Kei just could not step out and swing. Joker will. I hope Rafa tries to take it to Nole. If he hopes for Nole to miss and win that way… it is going to be a 62 63 sort of beatdown. I hope Rafa takes the sets deep. That would be a victory. He has to win more than 2/3 games in a set. I dont see him winning a set the way Joker is playing. I so want to be proven wrong though :(. Vamos!!!

    • Your comments are very thoughtful, but I just have to say that 7/6 7/6 is not walking all over Jo. I am not predicting a Rafa win today, and just hope it will be more competitive. I wish Rafa would try something different to surprise Novak, but do not know what to suggest. Vamos Rafa!

  2. Very happy rafa …..congrats for a great win
    firstly for all those who said kie didnt played well
    i think he played so well and if he could get the 2nd brrak in 1 st which he was close to it it would be different story and all would have said what a great level …….
    its just rafa taken time to adjust to kei game and hence then he was able to turn the dynamic…….so dont be so blunt to call it kei dont played well …..rafa did not get a gift he fighted ……so respect the game

    Rafa ur attitude once again was good but still i want u to play with a little angry intentions..

    As i said u rafa earlier humiliate ur opponent with ur play and v have seen kie throwing his racquet 2 times ….yes it was because he was not doing well but mostly because rafa was playing well…….

    1 st masters of season and even after getting tough draw and not a good run in ur earlier tournament u were able to make it to semifinals …….so that is a great news
    the great thing is u were able to win in straight sets against opponent who was in all attacking game mode …..its so difficult to come up winner in such matches ….but u donr it……………so now i dont say but i hope u got some mental strenght out of this match and aome confidence which u was lacking
    amazing thing is now u r not at all bothered by ur earlier shots and concentrate on next points …..that’s the way to go…..

    U served tactically So well ….but still increase some speed on it
    the forehands is good and please keep it improving ……the positions is a great factor

    U were again able to win long rallies and able to hit consitently behind service box area ….

    U just now need to do better on drop shot …..i mean u should work on so that the ball quickly dies and not hold for giving opportunity to opponent i know u can do it u were good on it ealier years…
    the defense was solid rafa ……..so enjoy u r todays win dont bother about the next match ……..keep the same attitude……
    dont loose the 1 st game …..again the serve will be important factor ….since he will attack u on 1 st game of ur and then create a momentum with him ………just try to push the match longer……..expect the drop shots ……..u need to change the direction on shots and make him run……..play him more on his forehand side………dont play to his plans ……..slices and lobs are important…….and remeber one important points just enjoy the match……..u need to remeber of us open finals and monte carlo 2015…………
    attack his 1 st game……..and remember 90 % on important point novak will serve down the tee direction so dont give him free points on that……..

    Vamos rafa ………u can build up on this wins for roland garros already

  3. Rafa at his best today! Good serve and determined to win, a great attitude! I was a little bit irritated about the comments of the commentators! Maybe we don’t see the old Rafa anymore, but he still has won 14 grandslams and he is one of the greatest tennis player ever! Let’s show more respect for this guy, even if you don’t like him! He deserves more support! We, as a Rafa fan support him all the way! Vamos Rafa! We love you!

  4. After the rebreak in the first set, Rafa played very good tennis. Now take rest and all the best for your match tomorrow. Vamos Rafa <3

  5. Wow Rafa that’s more like it…Real hunger and will to win so evident …great to see ..would love to see you win this tournament great confidence booster…GO GET IT Vamoooos

  6. I wonder if the noon start was a small factor in Rafa’s sluggish start? Once he awoke, he played some of the best tennis I have seen from him in awhile. If only he can serve like that tomorrow, whomever he plays! Vamos Rafa!

  7. Good! Now win the tournament. Two matches…but they would make such a huge impact on the next few years. Do it!

    • How do you expect him the tournament while he is getting better and showing hope he still isn’t at that place to win it all. Let’s not get our hopes up too much. As good as Rafa is now Nole will beat Rafa.

  8. Wow Rafa great match ,have loved Rafa’s reaction this week when he has won the game ,it just shows how much it means to him . Good luck in the semi finals Rafa and believe in yourself

  9. well done Rafa this is so great your confidence coming back so you need to keep the momentum going for another match whether it’s Djokovic or Tsonga !!!’
    Each match at a time don’t think too far a head just keep on winning
    Vamos Rafa Vamos

  10. Another great match! Being aggressive and getting into all of Kei’s games after the
    3rd game in the first set proved to be the right way to go. Watching tennis, it is a puzzle out there. Rafa made the right adjustments up against Kei’s forehand shots.

    I loved Rafa’s up the line forehand winners. I have also noticed all his serves from the beginning of this tournament seem more calculated. Bravo, Rafa!

    Best of luck in the semifinals. A step up from last year. It’s all about climbing that ladder, one match at a time. Rafa has faced 4 extremely tough opponents and performed so well. I am so proud of him.

  11. RAFA won with HIS fantastic game today, 100% kudos to his great win and growing confidence in himself.

    Congrats RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    RAFA fan forever.

  12. Rafa was awesome today, without a doubt! The old attitude was back, and he fully deserved to take this in 2 sets. The Loony Prophet must have prayed very hard to his Goddesses, and it worked, LMAO!

  13. YEH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) BEAUTIFUL STRONG WIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) VAMOS DEAR RAFA ALL THE WAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) YOU DID EVERYTHING RIGHT & YOU ARE SO LIGHT ON YOUR FEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) I watched parts of the other matches & no ONE player stands out better than your performance !!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) YOU definitely have your great unbelievable TENNIS to be proud of…..and GO……………….GO………………GO…………….. ! : ) A POINT AT A TIME continue your groove & enjoy the ride!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) ci…..ci…..ci…. VERY HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) YOU DESERVE EVERYTHING and YOUR EFFORTS & HARD WORK IS BRINGING IT ALL HOME FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) CONGRATULATIONS SWEETHEART & VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : )

  14. Wow! Impressive match! That forehand down the line is starting to come back and Rafa is moving a lot better. He served good today but he needs a bit more pace on it. Loved the return on the second serves. The changes might take a bit more time before we really see the end product but it’s already looking better if he can keep it up.

    On the other hand, Nishikori was not at his best today but I think that Rafa surprised him a bit.

      • I disagree! It is not a given that he will lose the semi, even if it is Nole. Rafa was amazing today, and this could be the start of a big comeback! Toni should stay home more often :)))))))

    • I can’t reply directly to you Abu but I try to lower my expectations your words are music to my ears but I don’t want to get my hopes up too much. Either way even if he loses SF it’s ok he showed hope which is all I could wish for today. He was never able to show this type of motivation that need, eagerness to do well dunno if the French prime minister helped but thank her if it did. Rafa is hungry now and it shows. His game relies on his hunger, if he has no hunger he has no game if he does everything clicks.

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