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

Dominic Theim

Indian Wells 2019

Alyssa Roenigk is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com whose assignments have taken her to six continents and caused her to commit countless acts of recklessness.

It is fun to have so many legends at the event.

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Indian Wells Masters due to a knee injury ahead of his scheduled semi-final match with Roger Federer.

Dominic Thiem of Austria in action against Milos Raonic of Canada during their men's singles semifinal at the Indian Wells 2019
Dominic Thiem of Austria in action against Milos Raonic of Canada during their men’s singles semifinal at the Indian Wells 2019

The 25-year-old will now meet Federer - the duo each having won two of their previous four encounters - after the Swiss was handed a walkover by virtue of Rafael Nadal's withdrawal on Saturday. "I feel fortunate for all the things I've done in my life and the world of tennis". "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". The Spanish superstar, who has battled knee tendinitis and other injuries throughout his career, confirmed he won't compete at next week's Miami Masters, targeting a return to competition at Monte Carlo April 14-21.

They have not met since Shanghai in 2017, the same year that Federer beat Nadal 6-2 6-3 in the fourth round at Indian Wells.

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

"I went back to the house and relaxed". I thought the match was definitely on.

"I warmed up today and I felt that my knee was not good to compete at the level I needed to compete in semi-finals", said Nadal.

"Playing against young guys to eventually get to Rafa, that's exciting", said Federer, who also faced an opponent the same age as Khachanov. Despite a slow start to the season, Thiem has been impressive this week. The trainer returned again with Nadal leading 3-2 in the second set. The spins, they really bounce up high here in the desert air. This surface suits his game. "Put the legs up, take a massage, spend time with the family. It's only my third one", Thiem said. Federer has triumphed in both of their hard court matches.

"It's always something special to play him", he said. "It's fantastic that I came this far, and hopefully it's not the end".

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