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

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

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

Federer and Nadal were set for their 39th meeting, the Spaniard having won 23 times to his great rival's 15, although the Swiss has triumphed in their past five encounters.

The World No.2 had made it to the last four without dropping a set, so it was especially devastating when knee pain flared up during his 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/2) quarter-final victory over Russian Karen Khachanov on Friday.

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

Nadal stands in the way of Federer's pursuit of a record sixth title at Indian Wells.

"What I'm going to do is come back home and try to do a smooth transition to clay, try to be 100 percent for the first event, that's going to be Monte Carlo for me", he said.

Federer said he might not feel quite the same tingle of anticipation as fans at the prospect of facing Nadal, but he acknowledged that their clashes always raise the stakes.

Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu rallied past No. 6 Elina Svitolina 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, winning on her fourth match point to reach the biggest final of her young career. I had some small chances in the second set. "I know that every one that we have now could be our last".

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Knee problems have dogged Nadal for years, and they cut short his 2018 season after the U.S. Open in September.

"Another goal of mine was to make history, and I just did", she said, smiling.

Federer received a walkover to the final, where he will play either Austria's Dominic Thiem or Milos Raonic of Canada.

He couldn't convert his only break point against Raonic in the second, and Raonic managed to seize the tiebreaker aided by a favorable netcord bounce for a 5-3 lead.

Federer admitted he wants a do-over after last year's disappointing defeat in the finals at Indian Wells, and said he welcomed a day of rest.

"I love to play on hard (courts), but probably my body don't love it that much", Nadal said, according to Christopher Clarey of the New York Times.

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