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03-17-2013, 03:59 PM #1
[Tennis] Nadal thrilled to get past Berdych
Rafael Nadal said his semi-final win over Tomas Berdych at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday was 'amazing'.
The Spaniard fought back from a break down in the second set to win 6-4 7-5 to progress to a final showdown with Argentine Juan Martin del Potro at Indian Wells.
Nadal praised Berdych, who has an 18-5 win-loss record this season, and added the victory was all the more credible given it came against the in-form Czech.
"He's having a fantastic season, playing two finals in a row in Europe and now being in the semi-finals without losing a set," Nadal said.
"So it was an amazing victory for me, I'm very happy with the victory, it means a lot to me, especially when I win against a top 10 player and a very difficult one. So I'm very happy and I'll just say thank you for all the support, the crowd was really amazing."
Nadal admitted he had a tough time closing out the match, as Berdych unsuccessfully served for the second set twice - and then wasted four break-back points in the 12th game.
"Since he had the break for 5-3 the match became a little crazy, a lot of chances (were created) for both of us," he said.
"Finally I was able to find a solution in the last game to close the match and to win 7-5."
Having returned from a seven-month layoff to a persistent knee injury last month, Nadal's progression to the final in his first hard-court tournament back is no mean feat.
And he said he was 'emotional' to be on the brink of an ATP 1000 title - especially on his non-preferred hard-court surface - while he is also on 599 career wins heading into the title decider.
"(I'm) very happy and very emotional to be in the final of the first Masters 1000 event of the year, especially on hard court is something totally unexpected for me.
"I'm enjoying every moment and tomorrow I'll have the chance to enjoy another good match."
Finalist del Potro said he is in some of the best form of his career, but conceded completing a treble of victories over Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Nadal was an unenviable task.
"It's going to be so difficult for me, after Murray then Djokovic and tomorrow Nadal, every day (it's getting) worse for me.
"But I need to recover tonight and have everything perfect and try to be ready for tomorrow."