BNP PARIBAS OPEN 2013
Federer Not Surprised By Nadal's Quick Return To Form
Indian Wells, U.S.A.
Roger Federer admitted that he was not surprised by Rafael Nadal’s form after he lost to the Spaniard in the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals on Thursday night.
Nadal won the pair’s 29th meeting 6-4, 6-2 at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 hard-court tournament in Indian Wells.
“I expected him to be tough here,” said Federer, the four-time titlist and defending champion. “He’s a bit careful at times [in] his movement. That's totally normal. [He] hasn't played for some time on hard courts. He's not going to come back if he's not well. He's not going to come back half broken. I expected him to tear through the clay.”
Since returning after a seven-month absence, Nadal has compiled a 15-1 match record, which includes two ATP World Tour titles at the Brasil Open 2013 (d. Nalbandian) and the Abierto Mexicano Telcel (d. Ferrer). He also finished runner-up at his comeback tournament, the VTR Open (l. to Zeballos).
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Federer realised that he knew he had his work cut against Nadal midway through the first set. “The longer the match went on, I realised I had to change up my game. I played differently than I was hoping to be able to. Obviously, he got more comfortable as the match went on, as well. Things became difficult. Obviously once I was down a set I knew it was going to be difficult.
“Overall, under the circumstances, I'm happy. It's all right, and I'm looking forward. I'll probably maintain my schedule, but you never know.”
Federer now has a 13-4 match record on the season. The loss could prove costly for Federer, who will relinquish the No. 2 Emirates ATP Ranking to Andy Murray should the Scot reach the Indian Wells final.