Next chapter in Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer rivalry will have to wait

Next chapter in Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer rivalry will have to wait

Canada's Bianca Andreescu, 18, advanced to the women's final on Friday night with a thrilling three-set win over No. 6 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.

Sky Sport pundit Luca Boschetto is confident that Roger Federer will go all the way in Indian Wells.

Nadal and Federer, who have 37 Grand Slam titles between them, have not played each another since 2017.

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.

"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.

Nadal, who has struggled with knee injuries throughout his stellar career, was the second high-profile player to withdraw from the tournament. It was obvious that Nadal's movement was hampered.

Nadal remains without a title since Toronto in August a year ago and a win over Federer since the Australian Open in 2017 but with a four-week break he will re-emerge for the clay-court season in Monte Carlo before yet another French Open at Roland Garros. "The way he came up was very clay-court based, and I was apparently very grass-court based, and we both found our ways also on the other surface", Federer said. He was forced to quit two sets into his semifinal against Juan Martin del Potro.

He appeared to be on the verge of tears on Saturday as he spoke to the media. Sometimes I feel sad because I'm in a disadvantage to all my opponents.

Then he gathered himself, saying, "It's not the moment to complain much". I don't have doubts today that I will beready for Monte-Carlo.

The year began promisingly enough.

The 32-year-old was playing only his second event since reaching the final of the Australian Open; he lost to Nick Kyrgios in the last 16 of the Mexican Open. He's ranked No. 2 in the world and has a match record of 11-2.

While Nadal said he feels knee pain "almost always", in the face of this latest setback he insisted: "My goal doesn't change". "Now it starts the process that I have to decide what direction we have to take to recover well and to recover as soon as possible".

And the 20-time Grand Slam victor admitted he was disappointed when Nadal text him the news.

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