Indian Wells Flashback: Roger Federer downs Rafael Nadal and rain
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 2627
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal played their 28th duel in the 2012 Indian Wells semi-final. Rafa emerged at the top a month and a half earlier at the Australian Open, and it was the other way around in the desert. Roger clinched a 6-3, 6-4 triumph in an hour and 32 minutes to celebrate his tenth victory over Rafa and reach his first Indian Wells final since 2006.
Roger struggled a bit against Milos Raonic and Thomaz Bellucci before finding the rhythm against Juan Martin Del Potro. The Swiss kept that momentum against the Spaniard to seal the deal in straight sets and march into the final.
Nadal grabbed two breaks but needed more to stay competitive after a mediocre performance behind the initial shot. He dropped 46% of the points in his games and suffered four breaks to propel Roger through. Unlike in most of their encounters, Federer found a way to overpower Nadal in the extended rallies, firing almost 30 winners and 25 unforced errors to control the pace and keep the points on his racquet.
Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal in the 2012 Indian Wells semi-final.
On the other hand, Rafa barely hit ten winners and felt uncomfortable on the court. He sought the solution to turn the tables around but still lost in straight sets to propel Roger into his first final in the desert in six years.
Federer faced two break points in the encounter's first game and brought heavy weaponry to fend them off and wrap it up with four straight winners. The Swiss broke the Spaniard in game two after a winner at the net following rock-solid backhands.
Nadal held at love in the fourth game and earned two break opportunities in the next one. He converted the first to return to the positive side and erase an early setback. The Swiss held at love in the seventh game after a service winner and grabbed a break a few minutes later following the Spaniard's backhand mistake.
Roger moved in front and secured the opener with four winners in game nine for 6-3 in windy conditions. They worked in Roger's favor, and he grabbed a break at love in the second set's third game. Federer pushed strong and cemented the break with a forehand winner in the next one for a 6-3, 3-1 advantage.
Flying over the court, Roger landed another forehand winner to create break chances in the fifth game. Rafa denied it and clinched four straight points for a hold that kept him within one break deficit. Federer made damage on the return again in game seven and seized the second break chance to forge a 5-2 advantage.
Roger served for the victory in the eighth game, and Rafa fired a forehand crosscourt winner to pull one break back and extend his chances. The Spaniard held in the ninth game, and the Swiss served for the victory for the second time at 5-4.
Roger earned a match point before the rain sent them off the court! Staying calm, Federer landed a service winner once they continued to seal the deal and advance into a long-awaited final in the desert.