Rafael Nadal Defeats Roger Federer to Advance to BNP Paribas Open Semifinals

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst IMarch 15, 2013

INDIAN WELLS, CA - MARCH 14:  Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a return to Roger Federer of Switzerland during day 9 of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 14, 2013 in Indian Wells, California.  Nadal won 6-4, 6-2.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

In their first match since his return to tennis, Rafael Nadal had no problems handling Roger Federer at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California on Thursday night as he cruised to victory in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2.

Nadal disposed of Federer in the quarterfinals matchup of the tourney in under two hours in the 29th career meeting between the two.

Fed-Ex didn't help his own cause in this showdown, as the future Hall of Famer made several errors, and that's a recipe for disaster against one of the greatest players on the planet. This loss will end Federer's chances at taking home his second consecutive crown and his fifth overall.

Nadal has not won at the BNP Paribas Open since 2009 and has two career tournament victories in total.

He has now reached the semifinals in each tournament he's played in this year, and he's yet to miss the finals as well, with a 2-1 record in those matches. Hopefully for Nadal, his trend of getting to the big match continues.

The victory for Nadal will now pit him against Tomas Berdych in the semifinals. Berdych got to this point by defeating Kevin Anderson of South Africa, 6-4, 6-4.

Nadal has the advantage in the pair's history, but that is normally the case when the Spaniard is compared to most players. Berdych will be hoping to change that in what will be an incredibly tough match to win with Nadal playing so well.

Should he emerge victorious, that will give Nadal an impressive three singles titles in just four tournaments played.