Nadal WD's before Federer clash with knee injury

Florence Fletcher
March 17, 2019

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are set to face off in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells on Saturday, March 16.

He had been set to play longtime rival Federer in the semifinals.

The 32-year-old Spaniard was contemplating cause and effect after painful knee tendinitis flared up during his quarter-final victory over Karen Khachanov at the ATP Indian Wells Masters on Friday.

"It's not my case", he said.

Federer, who defeated Poland's Hubert Hurkacz 6-4, 6-4 to reach the semi-finals, feels the same, saying the contrast in styles and personality between himself and Nadal lend spice to their history.

"It's not about only during the tennis careers that I am anxious", he said. "It's been quite a journey with Rafa side by side".

Federer trails Nadal in their head-to-head series, 23-15, but he's won their last five meetings and that adds a nice twist to the tale.

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With their last battle taking place 17 months ago in the Shanghai Masters final, Federer believes the slate will be wiped clean on Saturday.

Nadal, too, says the contrast in styles, coupled with the pair's sheer longevity, makes every meeting something to treasure.

Nadal, who has struggled with knee injuries throughout his stellar career, was the second high-profile player to withdraw from the tournament.

It was just the fifth time in Nadal's career that he had conceded a walkover, and the first to Federer. He didn't play again until the Australian Open, where he fell in the championship match to Novak Djokovic.

"Nobody can guarantee anything about what can happen the next day, but of course my goal is to be ready for tomorrow".

"But at the same time, in the other hand, I went through fantastic moments and still going with that feeling a lot of times".

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