Rafael Nadal withdraws from Indian Wells semi-final against Roger Federer

Carrie Guzman
March 17, 2019

Rafael Nadal withdrew from the Indian Wells tournament on Saturday with a knee injury, shortly before his eagerly-awaited semi-final clash with great rival Roger Federer.

Next up on Saturday for fourth seed Federer will be his 39th career encounter with Nadal, provided the Spaniard wins his quarter-final against Russian Karen Khachanov later on Friday.

Federer got a walkover into Sunday's final against hard-hitting Austrian Dominic Thiem, who outlasted error-prone Milos Raonic 7-6 (3), 6-7 (3), 6-4 in their semifinal. After spending two and a half hours on the court, the Canadian faced his first break point with a great forehand victor on Thiem's court, however with the Austrian, Dominic Thiem serving for the match Thiem closed out the match 7-6 (3), 6-7 (3), 6-4. After an uninspiring performance against unseeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic parked his run in the third round and then turned his attention to doubles. "I know the anticipation is there from the crowd and also us players".

Thiem and Federer have split their four previous meetings, with only one going three sets. "His serve is just unreal so even though I played wonderful it was so close the first two sets".

"It was an incredible day", said Thiem, who will be playing in his third Masters 1,000 final.

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"We've had so many epic battles", Federer, 38, said. "My goal is to be healthy as many weeks as possible to keep playing and at the highest level possible". "I'm very excited to be in the semis here, not that I didn't expect it".

He had ankle surgery in November, and only returned to training in December.

"I love to play on hard, but probably my body don't love it that much", Nadal said. What can I say?

"You look back at what I did well there, but you can't just copy-paste and play exactly the same thing again", Federer said. "What I'm gonna do is go home and try to smoothly transition to clay and be 100 percent for the first event in Monte Carlo".

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