Nadal pulls out with injury before Federer semi-final

Sports

Mar 15, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Rafael Nadal (ESP) returns as he wins his semi final match against Karen Khachanov (not pictured) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) – 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.

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.”

Federer, 37, will play either Milos Raonic or Dominic Thiem in the final, bidding for his 101st career title.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ian Chadband

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