'Matches against Rafael Nadal bring extra energy'

Rafael Nadal

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are set to face off in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells on Saturday, March 16.

Both came through their respective quarter final matches yesterday to ensure the semi final scrap, with Spaniard Nadal eventually making his way past Russian tournament 12th seed Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-2) in an extremely close match, and Federer beat unseeded Pole Hubert Hurkacz. "Of course it's a special match".

Hurkacz's nerves in his first meeting with Federer showed when he whiffed on a second-serve return on the Swiss great's first service point of the match.

After 38 career meetings, Nadal leads the series 23-15, but Federer holds a slight 11-9 advantage on hardcourts. "But it always brings extra energy into the stadium and for the both of us".

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Nadal, too, says the contrast in styles, coupled with the pair's sheer longevity, makes every meeting something to treasure.

They have not met since Shanghai in 2017, the same year that Federer beat Nadal 6-2 6-3 in the fourth round at Indian Wells.

"It's tough for me to accept all these things that I'm going through in my career".

Federer said he might not feel quite the same tingle of anticipation as fans at the prospect of facing Nadal, but he acknowledged that their clashes always raise the stakes. "I can not guarantee how I'm going to wake up tomorrow morning".

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