Tennis - Rafael Nadal managed to beat the red-hot Ernests Gulbis, but only just, to reach the quarter finals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells where he will meet second seed and long time rival Roger Federer in a much anticipated quarter final showdown.
On Wednesday evening, Nadal needed all his experience and fight to come from a set down to beat the 24 year old Latvian, who had won his last 13 matches in a row.
Nadal finally held on for the 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 win in two hours and 33 minutes.
After the win, Nadal commented, "To win matches in days like today are more important that ever for me, and I'm very happy about what I did on court. I'm happy about the attitude. With all the problems, I was able to keep being focused and keep winning."
Nadal said his knees were feeling okay but that he was not able to get to balls that he used to before and so had to make some adjustments. While looking ahead to the Federer clash, he underplayed his chances and said that Federer was the big favourite and he is happy with his efforts this week even if he loses.
The mercurial Gulbis, who will climb to around no. 58 in the rankings, commented, "I was more aggressive. I went for my shots much more than him. But he did really incredibly well, as he always does, on the important points. It's really tough to beat the guy."