INDIAN WELLS: Rafa Nadal produced vintage form against an out-of-sorts Roger Federer to crush the Swiss 6-4 6-2 in their heavily anticipated quarter-final at the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday. (Agencies)
The Spanish left-hander, competing in his first hardcourt event since returning from seven months on the sidelines with a knee injury, moved around the court well and outplayed his long-time rival at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Nadal broke the defending champion once in the first set and three times in the second to wrap up victory in one hour 24 minutes in front of a packed house at the Stadium Court.
The Spanish world number five improved his record against Federer to 19-10 and will next face sixth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych, who beat South African Kevin Anderson 6-4 6-4 earlier in the day.
"After seven months away, I am very happy to be in the semi-finals here," a beaming Nadal said courtside after taking advantage of a slew of backhand errors by Federer, who has been struggling with a back niggle throughout the tournament.
"I played great the first set. I played a fantastic first set, in my opinion. The second set I think Roger didn't fight as usual. Probably he had some problems and he didn't feel comfortable enough to keep fighting.
Asked what had pleased him most about his game, Nadal replied: "Sometimes I am not able to play all the shots with my forehand because I am not that fast yet to do it”.
INDIAN WELLS: Rafa Nadal produced vintage form against an out-of-sorts Roger Federer to crush the Swiss 6-4 6-2 in their heavily anticipated quarter-final at the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday.