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

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

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

Nadal took a medical time-out after the third game of the second set to have tape applied under his right knee and looked in serious discomfort before battling to a 7-6 (2) 7-6 (2) victory, saving a set point to avoid being pushed to a decider. It was obvious that Nadal's movement was hampered. "A lot has happened in those 18 months... you can't just copy/paste and play exactly the same thing again", said Federer. What can I say?

Knee problems have dogged the 32-year-old Spaniard for years, and they cut short his 2018 season after the U.S. Open in September. Sometimes I feel sad because I'm in a disadvantage to all my opponents. "With all this stuff, I still where I am today".

"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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The world number two was set to face Federer for a place in the final, having reached the last four without dropping a set in wins over Jared Donaldson, Diego Schwartzman, Filip Krajinovic and Karen Khachanov this week. He's ranked No. 2 in the world and has a match record of 11-2.

Federer trails Nadal in their head-to-head series, 23-15, but he's won their last five meetings and that adds a nice twist to the tale. "Of course my goal and my idea is to be ready for tomorrow", Nadal said.

Time: The match is called for 4 p.m. EST, but it will not start until the other semifinal, Milos Raonic vs. Dominic Thiem, finishes.