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Nadal: It_Ñés a big surprise for me

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Originally published on: 15/03/13 00:00

The Spaniard needed just 84 minutes to capture his 19th career win over Federer, but the 29th meeting between the pair wasn't the type of classic we've come to expect from their thrilling rivalry, which stretches back to 2004.

"I played a fantastic first set, in my opinion,” said Nadal. “The second set was strange. I think Roger didn't fight as usual. He probably had some problems and he didn't feel enough comfortable to keep fighting. Both of us tried to play our best.”

With Nadal dropping to No.5 in the world after seven months out with a knee injury, it was the first time the pair met at the quarter-final stage of a competition since their first meeting nine years ago. 

"Two weeks ago I didn't know if I can be here, and tomorrow I will be in semifinals," said Nadal. "[It] is a big surprise for me to have these results. I was able to practice just a little before the comeback. [The] important thing is [to] be healthy. And if that happens and I'm able to practice as much as I can, as much as I want, probably that the comeback will be a little bit less difficult, no?

"You miss these moments this whole time, but play against Roger in any moment in any situation is special.”

Nadal, however, refused to recognise his 19-10 record against Federer as proof that he is the better player. "If I think that I am better than him because I beat him 19 against 10, I will be very stupid and very arrogant," he said. "This is not the case."

Federer’s early exit now means Andy Murray could move to No.2 in the world if he can reach the final.

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