ATP Indian Wells: Roger Federer set possible Rafael Nadal clash

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ATP Indian Wells: Roger Federer set possible Rafael Nadal clash

The five-time Indian Wells champion Roger Federer is through to his 12th semi-final in the desert after a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Hubert Hurkacz in an hour and 13 minutes. This was the 66th victory for Federer at this event and he moves closer to a possible clash against Rafael Nadal if the Spaniard beats Karen Khachanov in the next encounter on Stadium 1.

Roger and Hubert have met for the first time on the Tour and the Swiss secured the win with a solid performance on both serve and return, dropping just 16 points in ten service games and fending off both break points to keep the serve intact.

The young Pole was unable to follow that pace, giving away almost 40% of the points in his games and getting broken once in each set to propel Roger into the last four. Federer delivered fury from his forehand, finishing the match with 24 winners and 18 unforced errors while Hubert counted to 16 winners and 23 mistakes, failing to impose his groundstrokes and losing ground in both the shortest and more extended rallies to end the journey in the quarters.

The opening set offered nine good holds on both sides and one loose that cost Hubert dearly, sending a forehand long in the fifth game to drop serve at 15 and push Roger 3-2 up. The world no. 4 gave away only five points in five service games, sealing the first set after a deuce at 5-4 when Hurkacz sent a forehand long.

The youngster sprayed another forehand error in the third game of the second set to drift further and further away from the positive result, although he could have pulled the break back in game six when he created the first break chance in the match.

Roger saved it with a forehand crosscourt winner and had to play against another one in the tenth game while serving for the win, erasing it with a service winner and sealing the deal with a forehand winner to secure the place in the semis.