Rafael Nadal pulls out with injury before Roger Federer semi-final

Ross Houston
March 17, 2019

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Indian Wells Masters due to a knee injury ahead of his scheduled semi-final match with Roger Federer.

"With all this stuff, I still where I am today", he said. I try to be positive and grateful with all the things that tennis has given to me, so I can't complain much.

Nadal isn't sure how severe the injury but has no doubt that he'll be ready for the Monte-Carlo Masters, beginning April 13. 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.

After defeating Karen Khachanov in Friday's quarterfinal, the world No. 2 expressed some concern over his health and spoke about the physical toll of hardcourt tennis.

"It's a big letdown", Federer said Saturday. "I can not guarantee how I'm going to wake up tomorrow morning". I thought the match was definitely on. However, Nadal soon texted him it wasn't going to happen.

"If I play Rafa there's extra energy in the building - there's always a lot on the line", he said.

Nadal choked up discussing his withdrawal last fall, and he appeared near tears on Saturday. Despite a slow start to the season, Thiem has been impressive this week.

The 37-year has eased through the draw without dropping a set and having made history by joining Jimmy Connors in the 100 club with his title success in Dubai a couple of weeks ago - he is on track for 101 when he faces either Raonic or Thiem in Sunday's final. "The spins bounce up high in the desert air and he is one of the fittest guys out there who can hit balls hard". Federer has won at Indian Wells five times, Nadal three.

However, Federer and Nadal got to this appointment in a completely different state. "Put the legs up, take a massage, spend time with the family".

"So I'm just going to keep going". Federer won the last time they played at the ATP Finals in London in November.

"My goal is to play on all the surfaces", he said. But who is going to win that?

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