Rafa Nadal overcame a resurgent Roger Federer 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in 2 hours & 13 minutes to secure his first ever win over a Top 10 opponent at Cincinnati to book his place in the semi-final where he will play Tomas Berdych on Saturday.
Pic of Rafa Nadal & Roger Federer shaking hands at the net as Roger said, Good luck to Rafa for the weekend
Rafa Nadal faced a break point in the 3rd game of the opening set, but managed to save it. Apart from that, there were no other break points & the first 10 games went on service.
The Swiss maestro looked to be in great form & served majestically well. Nadal on the other hand looked a bit defensive in the first set.
Federer got another break point in the 11th game & broke Nadal's service to get to a 6-5 lead & then, Federer served out the set 7-5 in 48 minutes much to the delight of the local crowd that looked pro Federer.
Here are the first set stats
The World No. 3 Spaniard who will get to #2 ranking if he wins the Cincinnati title started much more aggressively in the 2nd set. Nadal had 2 break points in the 4th game, but Federer managed to save those to make it 2-all.
The next 5 games went on service as Federer's tactic of coming to the net more often was giving high dividends. But, in the 10th game on Federer's service, Rafa Nadal played the game of the match & broke Federer's service on his 2nd break point to win the set 6-4 in 44 minutes & levelled the match 1-set all.
Here are the 2nd set stats
Rafa Nadal served brilliantly in the 2nd set & didn't face a single break point
The Spaniard continued the momentum from the 2nd set & broke Federer's service in the 2nd game of the 3rd set to get to a 2-0 lead. Rafa Nadal's service once again in this set was flawless & he didn't face a single break point. The Spaniard was able to put consistent pressure on Federer's service, but the Swiss managed to hold his service in spite of 3 break points in the 6th game.
Rafa Nadal kept his cool under some great shot making by Federer in the 9th game as Federer saved three match points to level it to duece, how ever, Rafa Nadal served out the match 4 points later as a forehand which hawkeye later showed was out wasn't challenged by Federer. As, Federer later said, it doesn't matter as now the match is over.
This was Rafa Nadal's 21st win over Roger Federer in 31 matches and the end score-line read 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.
Here are the full match stats :::
This is the 3rd time that Rafa Nadal has reached the semi-finals at Cincinnati in his 9th appearance & will face Tomas Berdych on Saturday. Berdych defeated Andy Murray while John Isner defeated the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic & will face Del Potro in the other semi-final.
"I'm happy with my progress along the way," Federer said. "Could have won tonight, should have won tonight, who knows? But at the end, I think Rafa's confidence and the way he's playing at the moment got him through. So for me, I think it was a good step in the right direction."
Mean while, Roger Federer will fall to #7 in the ATP Rankings on Monday while Rafa Nadal will get up to #2 if he wins the Cincinnati title.
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