Photo: Yong Teck Lim / Getty Images North America / Agence France-Presse
The no. 2 in the world Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from Saturday to his semi-final of the Masters 1000 of Indian Wells against his great rival Roger Federer, because of an injury to the right knee.
“Yesterday [Friday] after the game, I felt that I had something in the right knee, I did not want to talk too much about it because I wanted to try to do the maximum to be competitive,” explained the Spaniard in a press conference.
“I’m fired up this [Saturday] morning and I felt that my knee was not going to allow me to play at the level that I needed to have to compete in such a match “, he continued.
Nadal, 32, said that he was going to go home and that he will not compete not the Masters 1000 of Miami which begins next week.
“I’m going to go home and start the transition to the clay to be ready for Monte-Carlo” (13 to 21 April), has sued the undisputed king of clay.
“You can imagine that I’m not happy having to make this decision, it is hard and frustrating because I played well in this tournament, is a tournament that I like to compete,” said Nadal, winner three times in California.
Nadal was injured during his quarter-final against russia’s Karen Khachanov 7-6, (7/2), 7-6 (7/2).
He had sought the intervention of the doctor of the tournament at the beginning of the second set and was made to bend in the right knee.
He had to face Federer for the 39th time in their careers, but for the first time since October of 2017.
The Majorcan has chosen not to take risk at the difference of what he had done during the US Open in 2018.
He was wounded in the same knee, which is already against Khachanov in the 8th finals and had won. He had won his quarter-final against the Austrian Dominic Thiem, before being forced to abandon against the Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals.
This injury had disrupted his end to the season.
“I feel this knee pain more or less all the time,” he pointed out.
For his part, Federer, 37 years of age, is qualified, without play, for the final of the first Masters 1000 of the year where it will face the Canadian Milos Raonic or the Austrian Dominic Thim, as opposed to in the other semi-final.
The Swiss, no. 4 world, has won the beginning of march in Dubai the 100th title of her career.