Nadal leads their head-to-head 18-10, and is 6-5 against Federer on hard courts. It is only the second time that they have met before the semifinals of a tournament, the first being in 2004 in Miami. Nadal won that meeting, which was the first time they had ever played one another.
Both players are contending with injuries; Nadal is dealing with a sore knee, while Federer’s back is hurting him.
“We’re both a bit suspect going into our match,” Federer said. “In the past this match used to be a final, now it’s a quarterfinal, so obviously it’s a bit of bad luck of the draw for both of us. At the same time, it’s very exciting always playing each other.”
Nadal, who just returned to play last month after seven months off, said that this high-profile match is coming too soon for him.
“Too early to go to the match with the feeling that I can play equal conditions than him,” he said. “I think I am not that level today, but I gonna try, as I do always. I’m going to try to play well and make the match positive for me with any result. Tomorrow I don’t have much more to say than I have to play aggressive. I have to play aggressive to enjoy the match. If not, the match not gonna be good fun for me. I always play one way against Roger, or similar, not always the same, but tomorrow will be not easy to do this as I do all the time, because I need to move quick, especially on hard to do this kind of game, no? I don’t know if I am ready to do it, but we’ll see how I wake up.”