BNP Paribas Open: Rafael Nadal races to straight sets victory against Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal is through to the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open after a straight sets win over Roger Federer.
Last Updated: 15/03/13 6:36am
Nadal gave the clearest indication that he is back to his best after a lengthy spell out with a serious knee injury with a 6-4 6-2 rout of the second seed.
In fact, it was Federer who was struggling fitness-wise - with the Swiss not moving entirely freely after suffering a back twinge earlier in the tournament.
Federer saved a break point in game five with an ace, but could not repeat the feat two games later when Nadal came from 40-15 down to lead 4-3.
Federer held on when, for the third service game in a row, he was in trouble, forcing Nadal to serve the set out - but there was little he could do to hurt the serve of the Spaniard.
There was more of the same as Nadal broke twice at the start of the second set to increase his advantage to 3-0.
But the Swiss finally broke the Nadal serve to get on the board at 3-1, then made it two games in a row.
However the world No 5 was on the offensive once again and although Federer saved two break points he could not manage it for a third time.
That left Nadal serving for the match at 5-2 and he did so to 15 to complete a comprehensive victory, improving his record against his rival to 19-10.
"After seven months away, I am very happy to be in the semi-finals here," Nadal said.
"I played great the first set. I played a fantastic first set, in my opinion. The second set I think Roger didn't fight as usual. Probably he had some problems and he didn't feel comfortable enough to keep fighting."