Indian Wells: Rafael Nadal withdraws from Roger Federer semi-final

17 March, 2019, 09:16 | Author: Greg Lawrence
  • Spain's Rafael Nadal receives treatment during his quarter-final victory over Karen Khachanov at the ATP Indian Wells Masters. GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA  AFP  Sean M. Haffey

As the Spaniard tennis phenom, Rafael Nadal announced the sad news for the tennis followers worldwide by calling off the 39th "Fedal" rendezvous and Federer without any hassles sailed into finals of the Indian Wells 2019. "As I say before, is not only about today, is about tomorrow. With all this stuff, I still where I am today".

"[I need to] be positive and grateful for all the things tennis has given to me".

While Federer floated into Sunday's Indian Wells men's final (ESPN2, following women's final at 4 p.m. ET) without dropping a set all tournament, his two greatest rivals sputtered. "It's a special rivalry, maybe the most special with Rafa and Novak (Djokovic)".

"It's a big letdown", said Federer, who came on court in khaki shorts and a gray cardigan to address fans.

"So I'm just going to keep going".

"Not that I didn't expect it", Federer said, "but it definitely went better than I thought it would". "I was really looking forward to the match and I'm sorry it didn't happen". Despite a slow start to the season, Thiem has been impressive this week. The Canadian, Milos Raonic dominated his game with the serve and volley tactics which obstructed the Austrian to break Raonic's serve earlier in the match.

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He also enters this week's event hitting just 64.29 percent of fairways off the tee, which could cause major trouble at TPC Sawgrass .

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.

However, Federer and Nadal got to this appointment in a completely different state.

That included their most recent encounter, Federer's straight-sets victory in the Shanghai Masters final in October of 2017. His career record against Thiem is 2-2, with Federer winning both of their meetings on hard courts. They've never faced each other in a final.

While Nadal said he feels knee pain "almost always", in the face of this latest setback he insisted: "My goal doesn't change". "It's only my third one". The most memorable win for me was Wimbledon 2008. "It's unbelievable that I came this far, and hopefully it's not the end".

As a result, Nadal will be away from the court - on the ATP Tour at least - until the clay-court season begins.



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