Nadal withdraws from Indian Wells sending Federer to final in walkover

Nadal withdraws from Indian Wells sending Federer to final in walkover

Nadal withdraws from Indian Wells sending Federer to final in walkover

It would have been the 39th career meeting between Nadal and Federer, who seeks a record sixth title at Indian Wells and the 101st in his career on Sunday.

Nadal, whose longstanding right knee trouble flared up in his quarter-final victory over Karen Khachanov, couldn't take the court for the blockbuster semi-final with Swiss great Federer.

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

A sombre Nadal announced his withdrawal a couple hours before he was scheduled to take the court at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Nadal confirmed he would also skip the upcoming Miami Masters and aim to recover and prepare for the claycourt season, targeting a return at Monte Carlo April 14-21. 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.

"It's not about only during the tennis careers that I am anxious", he said. [Nadal] played so well this week and I thought he was playing some of his best tennis again.

"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.

Federer will now play the victor of the tournament's other semi-final between Austria's Dominic Thiem and Canadian Milos Raonic.

"It's not going to be easy", said Thiem, who has split four prior meetings with Federer 2-2.

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

"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.

"When Rafa is healthy, especially in a place like here in Indian Wells where he feels comfortable, he's clearly very tough to play", Federer said.

"Still tough because I felt more or less OK during this beginning of the season in terms of my knee", he said.

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