Saturday 17 March 2012

Swiss Stylo downs Mallorcan Majician - Federer defeats Nadal in Indian Wells Semi-Finals 2012

Rain and wind welcomed the first Fedal dual at Indian Wells, in the semi-finals of 2012. Rain pouring down caused delay of the match by around 3 hours, but the wind never died down. It all started to be in for Federer's way, Federer building a 3-0 lead quickly but Nadal, as we have come to know him, is a great fighter, and that was what he exactly did, as he fought back to win the next 3 games to bring the set back on serve. From then on, it was all Federer, literally painting the lines and going 2/2 on break points in the first set and winning it 63. Federer quickly went up 5-2 in the second set, only to see Nadal break him back and close the gap to 5-4, but Federer served it out in his next chance. There were rain delays in between the match. Thrice the match was stopped because of drizzling, Nadal went for a washroom break when Federer had to serve for the match. A lot of awkward stuff out there, but Federer beat everything including Nadal to win a spot in the championship match. What was amazing today was how Federer's backhand held up against Nadal. Federer marches on, while Nadal goes on to Miami. The final score being 63 64.

Let us have a brief overview of the stats:

DescriptionPre-SF      SF      
1st Serve %age    67%   71%
%age Points won on 1st Serve         80%   57%
%age points won on 2nd serve    64%   44%
Break points saved    85%   33%
1st return points won    35%   36%
2nd return points won    53%   35%
Break Points won    54%   50%

You can see a marked difference in the %age of points won Nadal won on his first serve and second serve, he also could not capitalise on Federer's second serve resulting in a 63 64 loss to the Swiss Mastero.

Description   Pre-SF      SF    
1st Serve %age    61%   64%
%age Points won on 1st Serve        83%   64%
%age points won on 2nd serve    58%   65%
Break points saved    73%   50%
1st return points won    29%   43%
2nd return points won    51%   56%
Break Points won    61%   67%
Federer played very aggressively throughout the match and it did pay off at the end. You can note the marked decrease in his winning percentage on first serve, but also a marked increase in the points won while returning Nadal's serve. What was most important was Federer making the most of break points. Federer took both break point opportunites he had in the first set and ended up winning 4 of the 6 break point chances he had by the end of the match.

For now on Federer marches on to his first Indian Wells final since he won his last trophy here in 2006 (defeated James Blake). Federer will be playing Djokovic's conqueror, Isner, another American.

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