Rafael Nadal: 'I can not guarantee you I will face Roger Federer'

17 March, 2019, 09:13 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Data check The Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal rivalry by the numbers

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from his Indian Wells semi-final against Roger Federer with a right knee injury.

Nadal's long-time injury - patellar tendonitis - struck again during his quarter-final win over Karen Khachanov in the Californian desert.

The Spaniard looked in discomfort during the match and only had a brief practice session on Saturday.

Federer was looking forward to the match and the chance to break out of a tie with Novak Djokovic for most Indian Wells titles, but was sorry to miss a meeting with Nadal.

Now Thiem will play in his first final at the BNP Paribas Open, as well as his first Masters final on hardcourts, against a fresh-footed Federer eyeing career singles title No. 101.

Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu rallied past No. 6 Elina Svitolina 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, winning on her fourth match point to reach the biggest final of her young career.

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While Nadal said he feels knee pain "almost always", in the face of this latest setback he insisted: "My goal doesn't change".

"I wanted to try my best to be competitive today", he said. "I know the anticipation is there from the crowd and also us players". "You can imagine that I can't be happy".

Nadal improved to 6-0 against Khachanov, although it was tougher and longer than Federer's victory.

With the last-four clash taking place on Saturday, there must be a question mark over whether Nadal will be fit enough even to start the match, and certainly whether he will be able to bring his best against Federer.

"Not that I didn't expect it", Federer said, "but it definitely went better than I thought it would". I hope I can play aggressive tennis against him.

Hurkacz, a 22-year-old Pole, earned three-set upsets of No. 28 Lucas Pouille, No. 6 Kei Nishikori and No. 24 Denis Shapovalov to make his first ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal, against his childhood idol. Federer was playing in his 83rd at this level. Speaking to SRF, the 17-time Grand Slam victor added: "Roger is a person you can talk to, inside the court I admire him".

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