Indian Wells 2015 - the rest
by MAC

Can't say that I wouldn't have liked to see Rafa lift at least one of the trophies from this tournament, but it wasn't to be. Reaching the quarter finals in both singles and doubles, however, is not too shabby a result for someone still finding his way after the ups and downs of 2014.

This week in doubles, he and Pablo Carreno Busta beat the number 6 ranked and well-established team of Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez 6-4, 6-4 (which may have caused a couple of frosty silences back in Rafa and Marc's shared accommodation) before losing a tight match to Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini, 4-6 6-4 4-10.

In the singles it was a lot better than last year when he'd only won one match.

This time he won three, beating Igor Sijsling, 6-4 6-2, Donald Young, 6-4 6-2 and Gilles Simon, 6-2 6-4 before losing to Milos Raonic, 6-4 6-7(10) 5-7.

These are Rafa's thoughts on his matches.

Sijsling -

"I think I played well. I think I played solid match to be the first match. I'm very happy the way I played. I played with not many mistakes, winning a good percentage of points with my serve.

"One very important thing for me are the movements, and I think I moved myself a little bit quicker tonight than what I was doing one month ago.

"So in general, I was able to defend some points well, to have some good passing shots, have some winners, some good shots down the line with my forehand. That's always give me a lot of confidence. So I have to be happy with the way I played tonight."

Young -

"Today I play with a little bit more mistakes, but having the feeling that I am able to do it well.

"Donald Young played very aggressive today with strange mistakes, winners, so was not easy to manage how to play really the match.

"I was able to find solutions. It's true that I had few mistakes with my serve. But then with positive attitude in the next game, I was able to have breaks, too.

"I feel confident that I am playing much better than one month and a half ago. I feel closer to be what I am, what I want to be, and it's a positive victory for me, another victory. Every victory is important victory for me. Already six matches in a row winning, and that's a good number."

Simon -

"I think last couple of weeks I felt that I was playing better. In Rio de Janeiro is true I lost a match I didn't have to lose, but I was not playing bad.

"In Buenos Aires I played some good matches. That's important for me. Here I think I played very good first match, then the second round was tough yesterday. I feel that I did what I have to do to win, but could play better than what I did.

"Today I think I played a solid match against a tough opponent like Simon that is not easy tactically how to play. Tactically I think I played a very positive match.

"In general, I played solid. Only two bad games with my serve I played bad. Made few mistakes, especially with the 1-0; and then 5-2, 30-0, 30-15, one mistake, unbelievable mistake.

"But for the rest I played solid. I played with not many matches waiting for the opportunity to go for the point, and I went for the point when I had to do it. Happy the way I played. It was an important victory for me, for sure."

Raonic -

"I had more opportunities than him in the first, in the second, and in the third, too. That's the real thing about what happened during the match. The real thing is I am happy the way I played. I am happy the way that I competed today. I am happy the way that I stayed in a level during the whole match.

"I am not happy that I lost. (Smiling.) That's it. No, no, at the end of the sport is win or lose, but today I lost against a great opponent who was fighting for every ball with very positive attitude. Feeling that I was there fighting for the victory against a top player again in a good surface for him is a big improve for me. I am not very sad. I'm not happy about the final result, but I am happy because, as I said before the tournament, I am much closer than one month and a half of what I want to be.

"I had a lot of chances to win today. Maybe I should win. (Smiling.)

"So maybe with more victories on my shoulders, without being outside of the competition for several months, maybe I will win that match because I will not play the return like this.

"But is normal that you are a little bit more nervous in that moment than usual. It's true that I didn't compete at that level of intensity mentally in tennis for a long time. I didn't play the match with that positive energy and that attitude since almost eight, nine months.

"So is a long time. That's a big improve for me. I was able to be there very focused, playing with positive energy for three hours, so that's great news for me, because that's the way I competed during all of my career.

"In this tournament I did much better than in the previous tournaments. So I am leaving Indian Wells with the feeling that I had big chance to do more and with the feeling that I was ready to compete again well.

"Hopefully that will help me for the future. I think match like this obviously is much better if you win, but even losing I think I'm 90% sure that will help me.

"In general, I played aggressive. I played with determination, with the right attitude, I think, playing good tennis. "I lost, and I feel that I had a lot of chances to win. Let's keep working that way. As I say since the first week of the season, is a process that I had to pass, and I am doing the normal process.

"The positive thing is during that process sometimes with losses like I had few times in the last couple of weeks maybe you are going down, but is not my case. I think every week I am better. Every week I am more competitive. Every week I feel stronger, quicker on court again. My movements are good again.

"My focus on the match is becoming better every match. Today I was able to compete against a top player without a feeling that he was better than me. So that's a big improve.

"Against Berdych in Australia I played that match and I didn't compete. Today against a very tough opponent, a very uncomfortable opponent, I created a lot of chances.

"I enjoyed the match. I enjoyed on court. I enjoyed suffering his serve. I enjoyed trying to be very focused with my serve all the time. I think I did well. I enjoying the fact that I felt well with myself on court again.

"So I felt competitive. I felt strong, with the right energy.

"I lost that match thinking much more positive things than negative ones."

Have fun in Miami, Rafa