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Nadal pulls out with injury before Federer semi-final

Nadal pulls out with injury before Federer semi-final
By Reuters

16/03/2019 at 18:24Updated 16/03/2019 at 20:59

Rafael Nadal withdrew from the Indian Wells tournament on Saturday with a knee injury, shortly before his eagerly-awaited semi-final clash with great rival Roger Federer.

Federer, 37 and bidding for his 101st career title, received a walkover into the final, where he will play Dominic Thiem, a 7-6(3) 6-7(3) 6-4 victor over Milos Raonic in Saturday's only semi-final.

It would have been the first meeting between the pair since 2017.

"I warmed up today and I felt that my knee was not good to compete at the level I needed to compete in semi-final," Spain's Nadal said in a statement.

"It's tough for me to accept all these things that I'm going through in my career."

The knee had begun to bother him in the second set of his 7-6(2) 7-6(2) victory over Karen Khachanov in the quarter-finals on Friday.

Nadal had enjoyed a dominant week at Indian Wells, reaching the semi-finals without dropping a set.

"For me it is not about today only," the world number two said.

" 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. You can imagine that I can't be happy."

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