Nadal reaches semifinals at Indian Wells

16:37, March 19, 2010      

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Defending champion Rafael Nadal defeated Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) Thursday to reach the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open in his first tournament since returning from a six-week injury layoff.


Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball during the quarter-final match against Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic at the Indian Wells ATP tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California of the United States, March 18, 2010. Nadal won 2-0. (Xinhua/Qi Heng)

"I played really well, especially the first set,'' Nadal said. ``The first eight, nine games was an unbelievable level. Later the wind came and it was more difficult to play."

Nadal was hampered by knee injuries last summer that continued into the Australian Open in January, when he was forced to retire in the quarterfinals.

Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia ousted Juan Monaco of Argentina 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, setting up a semifinal against Nadal.

On the women's side, Jelena Jankovic rallied from a 2-4 second-set deficit to beat Russia's Alisa Kleybanova 6-4, 6-4 and reach the semifinals.

Jankovic will next play Australian Samantha Stosur, a 6-3, 7-6 (11-9) winner over Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain.

Their match ended awkwardly when Stosur challenged Sanchez's serve that had been called good. Sanchez thought Stosur was questioning the Aussie's return, and believed her challenge request wasn't made in time.


Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic returns the ball during the quarter-final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain at the Indian Wells ATP tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California of the United States, March 18, 2010. Nadal won 2-0. (Xinhua/Qi Heng)

"She thought maybe it was a first serve or she got confused about something, but I wanted to challenge the serve and the serve was out, so it's a second serve," Stosur said. "It's a little bit bigger a deal because it was match point."

Sanchez was also confused about the score in the tiebreaker.

"I was disappointed," she said. "I don't know what happened."

No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, who also hasn't dropped a set, will meet in the other semifinal.

Source: Xinhua
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