Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Federer breezes into Indian Wells semis

Federer breezes into Indian Wells semis

The two, who have 37 Grand Slam wins between them, were due to meet for the first time since October 2017 in the 39th meeting of their intense rivalry, but the Spaniard has been forced to pull out and Swiss great Federer will progress to the final by default.

The 32-year-old Spaniard was contemplating cause and effect after painful knee tendinitis flared up during his quarter-final victory over Karen Khachanov at the ATP Indian Wells Masters on Friday. He twice called for a trainer, who applied tape just below Nadal's knee.

Nadal remains without a title since Toronto in August past year 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.

"If I play Rafa there's extra energy in the building - there's always a lot on the line", he said.

Nadal choked up discussing his withdrawal last fall, and he appeared near tears on Saturday.

Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu rallied past No. 6 Elina Svitolina 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, winning on her fourth match point to reach the biggest final of her young career.

Thiem might have been in for a more straightforward day had he converted his break point early in the second set but Raonic fought back and won two points on his opponent's serve in the tie-break to force a decider. "I know that every one that we have now could be our last".

Now Thiem will play in his first final at the BNP Paribas Open, as well as his first Masters final on hardcourts, against a fresh-footed Federer eyeing career singles title No. 101.

Thiem and Federer have split their four previous meetings, with only one going three sets.

"I love to play on hard (courts), but probably my body don't love it that much", Nadal said, according to Christopher Clarey of the New York Times. I hope I can play aggressive tennis against him.

"Still tough because I felt more or less OK during this beginning of the season in terms of my knee", he said.

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