Roger Federer was delighted to welcome back Rafa Nadal

Roger Federer has been presented a challenging road to a successful title defence at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. One man the Swiss maestro could potentially face off against in the quarter-finals is chief rival Rafael Nadal, a player Federer is thrilled to have back competing on the ATP World Tour.

“I only just saw him yesterday after my practice. I was really excited to see him again,” said Federer. “We hadn’t had much contact. I think he wanted to get away from it all, which I really understand. I was really happy to see him doing so well in Acapulco. It’s great to see him here playing on the hard courts. I’m hoping to catch up with him this week.”

Federer returns to one of his favorite venues for the Indian Wells event but the Swiss maestro is still seeking his first ATP title of the year after producing contrasting form in his first three tournaments.

"I played really well in Australia," said Federer, a 17-times grand slam champion. "Rotterdam, I was disappointed because I thought I could have done better. I played so well the year before and I never really got going against Benneteau."

"And in Dubai I was a bit unfortunate losing with three match points, and having to explain the loss when you feel you should be preparing for the final."

"What happened, happened. I am playing fine. Obviously I would have hoped to have won a tournament by now but overall I am happy with my game."

While Federer and Nadal, as seeded players, have a bye into the second round at Indian Wells.

If Federer is to get things going again, Indian Wells may just be the place the start. In 2012, the 21-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 champion became the first male to triumph at the event four times, defeating John Isner in last year final.

“Indian Wells is peaceful and nice and quiet for my family and I. The fans come out here and really know the game of tennis,” said Federer. “The facilities are becoming more fantastic for everyone involved. That’s exciting to see. And then it has a beautiful center court with a great atmosphere. It’s a prestigious tournament. All the greats show up here every year and you want to compete with the best.”

Date: 8th March 2013, Source: ATP and Reuters


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