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Rafael Nadal pulls out with injury before Roger Federer semi-final
16 March 2019, 09:13 | Anna Jefferson
Rafael Nadal The Canadian Press
"It's one of these victories today I'm really proud of", Nadal told reporters, declining to absolutely guarantee that he would be okay to play on Saturday.
Nadal comes into the match with some injury concerns, as he appeared to tweak his knee during his quarterfinal win over Karen Khachanov on Friday.
It would have been the 39th career meeting between Nadal and Federer, who advances to Sunday's final in pursuit of a record sixth title at Indian Wells.
"It's a bit different", the Swiss told reporters. What can I say? "I'm holding serve comfortably, in a good place mentally when I go into my service games". "I'm very excited to be in the semis here, not that I didn't expect it".
It would have been the first meeting between the pair since 2017. "Roger was playing great in the crucial moments".
A tight start to the second followed and Nadal's break at 3-2 was swiftly cancelled out, with Khachanov confidently holding his own before teeing up a set point opportunity, squandered with a wayward drop shot. Nadal leads the rivalry 23-15, but Federer has won the past five matchups.
Just hours earlier Federer had looked forward to the chance to take on a healthy Nadal, after similar knee trouble spelled the end of the Spaniard's US Open campaign last year, and his US Open campaign last year.
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