March 19, 2019

Indian Wells: Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal inch towards enticing semi-final

16 March 2019, 07:31 | Anna Jefferson

Kyle Edmund reached the second round at Indian Wells in 2018

Kyle Edmund

If Nadal won his next match of Indian Wells 2019 then he would get a chance to perform against Swiss superstar and five-time Indian Wells title victor Roger Federer in the semifinals.

Nadal will next face 12th seeded Russian Karen Khachanov who defeated big serving eighth seed American John Isner by 6-4, 7-6 (7-1).

"I am used to playing with some issues, so I just tried to be focused". Though Nadal was not fully-satisfied with his performance in the match and said, "I probably played a little bit worse today than yesterday".

"Nobody can guarantee anything about what can happen the next day, but of course my goal is to be ready for tomorrow".

Next up for the 20-times Grand Slam champion is another unknown quantity in Pole Hubert Hurkacz, who defeated Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (3) 2-6 6-3 earlier in the day to set up his first career meeting with the Swiss Master.

"I'm going to get a ticket because this is just nice", he said, joking about buying a lottery ticket.

"I love seeing Rod Laver here", he said.

"I'm very excited to be in the semis here, not that I didn't expect it. I'm holding serve comfortably, in a good place mentally when I go into my service games".

Hurkacz had two break points but could seize neither.

"Roger was playing great in the crucial moments", he said.

Edmund, who won the Indian Wells second-tier Challenger event last week, struggled on serve in the opening set.

"He's changing directions all the time (with his serve) so it's really hard to read it". According to William Hill, Federer is a 1/14 favorite to advance past Hurkacz, while Nadal (1/5) is believed to be in a slightly more competitive match.

Federer was on later in the afternoon against Indian Wells challenger victor Kyle Edmund. They worked together to film an episode of With Bear Grylls in the Wild in the Swiss Alps in February 2017 just a few weeks after the Basel native had won his first Grand Slam in more than four years beating Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final.

"It's incredible what I've achieved the last couple months", Andreescu said in an on-court interview.

Nadal spoke glowingly of how much the rivalry meant.

"It's lovely to have the chance to keep competing at the highest level in advanced rounds, in the most important event at that late (in) our careers", he said.

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