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Federer dismisses recent dominance over Nadal ahead of Indian Wells semi-finals - 'I don't think those matches matter that much'

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 16 Mar 2019
  • Federer and Nadal face off for the 39th time in the Indian Wells semi-finals on Saturday
  • Nadal leads their head-to-head 23-15, but Federer has won their last five meetings
  • The Swiss says their past matches 'don't matter that much'
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Roger Federer says his head-to-head with Rafael Nadal - including winning their last five encounters - shouldn’t be taken into consideration ahead of their Indian Wells semi-final showdown on Saturday.

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Federer and Nadal will square off for the 39th time in the Indian Wells Masters semi-finals after both advanced to the final four without dropping a set all tournament. It will be their first clash since the 2017 Shanghai Masters final, with Federer winning their last five matches, all of which have come on a hardcourt.

Furthermore, Federer has claimed their last three contests without relinquishing a set and didn’t even face a break point in his latest victory over Nadal in Shanghai two years ago. You have to go back to the 2014 Australian Open semi-finals for the last time Nadal - who leads their overall head-to-head 23-15 - tasted victory against his great rival.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal during their last match in Shanghai in 2017 (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
However, Federer believes their past showdowns aren’t overly important when analysing their upcoming Indian Wells battle.

"I don't think those matches matter that much, to be honest," Federer said after his 6-4 6-4 dispatch of Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in Friday’s quarter-finals.
"A lot of time has gone by, unfortunately maybe for the rivalry, for us, or for me. It's always better to keep on playing against him.
"The fans are maybe more excited about us playing than me as I've always got to be focused on my own game. But it always brings extra energy into the stadium and for the both of us."

While Federer cruised into the semi-finals, Nadal was forced to dig deep to overcome a determined Karen Khachanov, while he was also suffering from a knee injury that surfaced in the second set.

Nadal was able to survive and come away with a 7-6(2) 7-6(2) victory, but he was visibly struggling with his right knee during the latter stages of the match, while his post-match celebration wasn’t as jovial as usual.

"I was having a tough time against a very, very tough opponent," said Nadal.
"I managed to come back and had chances but he served huge, then I had some troubles with the knee but I was able to fight and find a way."

Nadal went on to admit there’s a chance he might not even take to court against Federer on Saturday, but said he would do everything in his power to play.



"I will try my best to recover - these are the matches I want to play," he mused.
"To play against my biggest rival at the later stages of our careers and to keep competing against each other is great."

Federer is chasing a record sixth Indian Wells Masters title, while Nadal is searching for his fourth and first since 2013.

Nadal vs Federer Indian Wells Masters semi-final tennis is live around 12.30pm local time on Saturday (7.30pm GMT). Click here for a full preview of the match.


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Federer dismisses recent dominance over Nadal ahead of Indian Wells semi-finals - "I don't think those matches matter that much"

Roger Federer says his head-to-head with Rafael Nadal - including winning their last five encounters - shouldn’t be taken into consideration ahead of their Indian Wells semi-final showdown on Saturday.

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