Nadal WD's before Federer clash with knee injury

Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot to Karen Khachanov of Russia during the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells California

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal reach semis showdown: Enjoy it while you can

"If I don't see this match as special it's because I don't love this sport and I don't appreciate the story of this sport", Nadal said after reaching the semi-final showdown with a 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/2) victory over Karen Khachanov.

"I am used to playing with some issues, so I just tried to be focused".

"Nobody can guarantee anything about what can happen the next day, but of course my goal is to be ready for tomorrow".

The Nadal-Federer matchup would have been the 39th meeting in their careers and the first in 16 months. What can I say?

"I will try my best to recover - these are the matches I want to play", the 32-year-old said, BBC Sport reported.

He seems to me very good.

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The fact also that his hero Zinedine Zidane has returned to Real Madrid as manager has suddenly brought another major factor into the Hazard equation.

The Swiss great has won the last five in the series, but says that's of little significance now that it has been nearly a year and a half since their last meeting in the Shanghai Masters final in October 2017.

"I was trying to fight, compete and believe I can do it", Hurkacz told reporters.

A tight start to the second followed and Nadal's break at 3-2 was swiftly cancelled out, with Khachanov confidently holding his own before teeing up a set point opportunity, squandered with a wayward drop shot.

Nadal leads Federer 23-15 on a head-to-head basis but the Swiss has won the past five encounters.

However, Federer and Nadal got to this appointment in a completely different state.

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