Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to clash in Indian Wells semi-final

First retirement or walkover in the Fedal saga Twitter reacts as Nadal pulls out of Federer clash

Nadal had been set to play longtime rival Roger Federer later Saturday.

"If I don't see this match as special it's because I don't love this sport and I don't appreciate the story of this sport", Nadal said after reaching the semi-final showdown with a 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/2) victory over Karen Khachanov. He twice called for a trainer, who applied tape just below Nadal's knee.

Nadal, the number two seed, confirmed he felt unable to give his best in what would have been a first clash against Federer since the final of the Shanghai Masters in October 2017.

Nadal said he hoped to be ready to battle again with Federer, but with a pragmatism born of hard experience he couldn't help but hedge.

"The only break point I had to save was in the last game, and that was what I wanted to do, to play my service games well and not let him have too many chances", Thiem said.

In a recent interview, the former world No. 4 James Blake says he feels excited to welcome all the best stars in the world to the Miami Open, that will take place for the first time in its history at the Hard Rock Stadium.




"It's about what it means for me to have to pull out in a tournament that I love so much like this one, and in the semi-finals after playing well during the whole tournament".

"It is not about only today", Nadal said in an emotional press conference after announcing his decision. They've split wins, with Federer winning both of their hardcourt matches and Thiem winning once each on grass and clay. I do think this is one of the premier events along with the Grand Slams, along with Indian Wells, along with all the other Masters Series [events].

Sunday's women's final features 18-year-old Canadian wild-card Bianca Andreescu against two-time major champion Angelique Kerber.

Federer was grateful for the extra day's rest he received ahead of today's final against Dominic Thiem.

Nadal reached the final at the Australian Open, and while he lost in straight sets to Novak Djokovic he said it was a positive sign after he had to pull the plug early on his 2018 season.

"It's not about only during the tennis careers that I am anxious", he said.

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