Nadal reaches final at Indian Wells

Updated: 20 March 2011 08:44 IST

World No.1 Rafael Nadal reached the Indian Wells final by beating Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-4, snapping a three-match losing run to the Argentine.

Nadal reaches final at Indian Wells

California:

World No.1 Rafael Nadal reached the Indian Wells final by beating Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-4, snapping a three-match losing run to the Argentine.

Nadal blasted four aces and won 81 percent of his first serve points in the first of two semi-finals Saturday at the $9 million WTA and ATP Masters 1000 tournament.

Nadal now has a 5-3 edge in career matches but del Potro had won the last three, including the semifinals of the 2009 US Open.

Second seed Nodal will play the winner of the other Indian Wells semifinal between Swiss Roger Federer and Serbia's Novak Djokovic.

Nadal started slowly Saturday but it was a combination of his precision forehands and footwork and speed along the baseline that prevented del Potro from gaining much momentum.

Nadal clinched the win in the final game by jumping out to a 40-0 lead and then blasting a serve to the backhand of del Potro who hit it long, ending the one hour, 51 minute match in front of a crowd of about 15,000.

The vocal Palm Springs-area crowd was split between cheering for the Spaniard and the Argentine.

At one point del Potro had to halt in mid serve because of the yelling from the stands, causing the umpire to plead in Spanish to show more "sportsmanship" towards the players and not interrupt when they were trying to serve.

Former world number four del Potro came out with more spark, winning the first three games and breaking Nadal's serve in the second game.

Nadal then won the next five games to take the first set. He clinched the set with a blistering serve to del Potro's forehand that just nicked his racquet.

The fifth game in the second set was one of the longest games of the match and marked the first break in the second set.

Del Potro looked like he was going to level it at 40-40 but Nadal chased down a ball deep on the baseline and blasted a perfectly-timed backhand down the line that del Potro had no chance on to break serve and go up 3-2.

Nadal is looking for his first ATP title of the season after making it to the semi-finals in Doha and the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in his first two tournaments.

And he is showing no signs of an injury to his left thigh muscle that caused him to take time off after the Australian Open.

Del Potro, who was playing in the Indian Wells semis for the first time, has surged in rankings over the past month going from No. 484 to No. 90.

Topics : Tennis Rafael Nadal Juan Martin del Potro
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