Rafael Nadal’s knee wasn’t ready in time today for his big semifinal showdown against Roger Federer at Indian Wells.
Just a few hours before their scheduled match, Nadal had to withdraw because of the lingering issue with his right knee from the second set against Karen Khachanov yesterday.
“As I said yesterday after the match, I felt that something happened in the knee,” Nadal said. “I wanted to try my best to be competitive today. I warmed up today in the morning and I felt that my knee was not enough good to compete at the level that I need to compete, to play the semifinals of this event.
“For me it is not about today only. It’s about what it means for me to have to pull out in a tournament that I love so much like this one, and in the semifinals after playing well during the whole tournament. You can imagine that I can’t be happy. So that’s all. Sometimes it is tough and can be frustrating for me personally to go through all this stuff.”
Nadal will also miss Miami.
“What I gonna do is come back home and try to do a smooth transition to clay. Try to be 100% for the first event. That gonna be Monte Carlo for me,” he said.
It’s just the 5th time in Nadal’s career he’s conceded a walkover, and the first to Federer.
Nadal turns 33 in June. It won’t get any easier on his knees from here, especially not on hard courts.
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