BNP PARIBAS OPEN 2013
Roger 'Excited' To Have Rafa Back
Indian Wells, U.S.A.
World No. 2 Roger Federer has been presented a challenging road to a successful title defence at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. One man the Swiss maestro could potentially face off against in the quarter-finals is chief rival Rafael Nadal, a player Federer is thrilled to have back competing on the ATP World Tour.
“I only just saw him yesterday after my practice. I was really excited to see him again,” said Federer. “We hadn’t had much contact. I think he wanted to get away from it all, which I really understand. I was really happy to see him doing so well in Acapulco. It’s great to see him here playing on the hard courts. I’m hoping to catch up with him this week.”
Federer is seeking his first trophy of the year. After reaching the semi-finals at the Australian Open (l. to Murray), the 31 year old missed out on retaining crowns in Rotterdam, where he lost to Julien Benneteau in the quarter-finals, and Dubai, where he relinquished three match points against Tomas Berdych in a semi-final clash.
Assessing his season thus far, Federer said, “I think I played really well in Australia. Rotterdam, I was disappointed with. I felt I could have done better. I played so well the year before. I never really got going. Dubai was a bit unfortunate losing with three match points and having to explain the loss when you feel you should be preparing for the final. What happened, happened. I’m playing fine. Obviously I hoped to have won a tournament by now but I’m happy with my game.”
If Federer is to get things going again, Indian Wells may just be the place the start. In 2012, the 21-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 champion became the first male to triumph at the event four times, defeating John Isner in the final.
“Indian Wells is peaceful and nice and quiet for my family and I. The fans come out here and really know the game of tennis,” said Federer. “The facilities are becoming more fantastic for everyone involved. That’s exciting to see. And then it has a beautiful center court with a great atmosphere. It’s a prestigious tournament. All the greats show up here every year and you want to compete with the best.”