Nadal WD's before Federer clash with knee injury

Silvia Morton
March 17, 2019

The former world No. 4 Greg Rusedski believes that Roger Federer starts as a favorite against Rafael Nadal in the Indian Wells semifinals.

He's tried stem cell, he's gotten everything and his team will do their utmost to play Roger Federer tomorrow because that is the marquee match everybody across the globe wants to see.

Nadal leads their head-to-head rivalry 23-15, but Federer has won 11 of their 20 hard-court meetings, including their last five clashes.

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. The first semifinal begins at 2 p.m. EST.

"I was ready to go, warming up this morning and everything was normal". I thought the match was definitely on.

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"I got on the golf cart back to the main building then Rafa texted me a message saying, 'It's not going to be possible, my knee's not well and I can't do it.' I went back to the house and relaxed. And at the same time, two players with a good relationship after all the things that we went through in our careers, competing for the most important things", he said.

The Swiss great has won the last five in the series, but says that's of little significance now that it has been nearly a year and a half since their last meeting in the Shanghai Masters final in October 2017. "I was really looking forward to the match and I'm sorry it didn't happen".

But he couldn't make a dent in Federer's serve and one break in each set was all Federer needed to seal the win after an hour and 14 minutes.

However, Federer and Nadal got to this appointment in a completely different state. I really hope not. They've split wins, with Federer winning both of their hardcourt matches and Thiem winning once each on grass and clay.

"My goal is to play on all the surfaces", he said. It's one of the most lovely centre courts that we have in the world, it would have been very special. "It's wonderful that I came this far, and hopefully it's not the end".

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