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

Getty Images  Yong Teck Lim

Getty Images Yong Teck Lim

"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.

After a year and a half, the tennis fans had the chances to see another chapter of the fantastic rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal after both tennis legends managed to qualify for the semifinal in Indian Wells.

Nadal said: "I warmed up today and I felt that my knee was not good to compete at the level I needed to compete in semifinals". It was obvious that Nadal's movement was hampered.

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 from April 14-21 instead. What can I say?

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He appeared to be on the verge of tears on Saturday as he spoke to the media.

He admitted that he sometimes is sad because he feels at a disadvantage against his opponents due to his continued knee issues that force him to limit his practice and playing time.

The year began promisingly enough.

Nadal reached the final at the Australian Open, and while he lost in straight sets to Novak Djokovic he said it was a positive sign after he had to pull the plug early on his 2018 season.

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

"My goal is to play on all the surfaces", he said.

Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam champion who captured his 100th career title at Dubai last month, overcame breezy conditions on stadium court and a hungry Hurkacz - a 22-year-old ranked 67th in the world who was playing in his first Masters 1000 quarter-final and just the second quarter-final of his career.

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