By Ros Satar at the BNP Paribas Open, in Indian Wells
- No. 2 seed Nadal announces he has to withdraw from the BNP Paribas Open semi-final with a knee injury that caused him issues in his quarter-final
- Will look to recover in time for the clay court season
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA USA – Rafael Nadal pulls out of his 39th encounter with Roger Federer with a knee injury and will skip Miami too.
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Rafael Nadal withdraws from BNP Paribas Open semi-final clash with Roger Federer
To the surprise of no-one except those who are given to wishful thinking, No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open semi-final against Roger Federer. He had been troubled with a knee injury in a tightly contested quarter-final against Karen Khachanov, winning out in two tie-break sets, but twice had the trainer out to treat his knee.
He hinted as much in his post-match press-conference saying that he would see how he fared in the morning ahead of the match, and commentator Rob Koening caught his practice earlier on Saturday morning, noting that it had been cut short.
Nadal hit for only 15min this morning @BNPPARIBASOPEN before stopping his warmup short. Thereafter a 10min chat with his team….It’s not looking good, but 🤞🤞
— Rob Koenig (@RobKoenigTennis) March 16, 2019
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It was all confirmed in a press conference held shortly afterwards.
“As I said yesterday after the match, I felt that something happened in the knee and was not the moment to talk about that because remain 24 hours before the semi-final, and I wanted to try my best to be competitive today.
“I warm 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 semi-finals match of this event.”
He will return home to Spain to prepare a smooth transition to clay, with his goal to be ready for the Monte Carlo Masters as the European clay swing beckons. However, looking forward, he will need to assess just how much longer he can play on the hard courts.
Nadal continued: “Now it starts the process that I have to decide what direction we have to take to recover well and to recover as soon as possible. Being honest, I don’t have doubts today that I will be ready for Monte-Carlo. But at the same time, I need to check with my people what’s the best way to proceed now. It is a situation that we were not expecting at this point, so now we need to adjust a little bit all the calendar.
“I am a tennis player, and to be a tennis player, I have to play on all the surfaces. My goal is to play on all the surfaces. Another thing is [to] adjust my calendar to the way that I need. But that [does] not means that I’m not gonna play in the hard courts.”
Federer will play Dominic Thiem in the final on Sunday.
The ATP Monte Carlo Masters will take place between 14-21 April.
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