Why Nadal withdrew
Rafa won a fantastic quarterfinal against Karen Khachanov 7-6 (2) 7-6 (2), but unfortunately, the world no.2 got injured to his (already struggling) right knee. The King of Clay asked for a medical time-out in the second set to be brave enough to keep on playing and winning the encounter.
It was clear that things went sideways for the Spaniard during the interview following his match against the Russian when Rafa already vented his doubts about playing the day after.
At 10.58 am the tournament made the official announcement that Rafa was unable to compete while the world no.2 explained as follows
“I warmed up today, and I felt that my knee was not good to compete at the level I needed to compete in semifinals,” Nadal said in a news conference Saturday. “For me, it’s not about only today. 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. Sometimes it’s tough and can be frustrating for me sometimes personally to go through all this stuff.
I’m just gonna keep going, and I’m just gonna keep doing the things that work well for me and accepting that sometimes these issues can happen. So all the things that are in my hands I am doing well. The things that I can’t control, I can’t control. So accept the situation even if today is a sad moment for me. Try to be always positive and grateful for all the things that tennis give to me and life give to me.
So I can’t complain much, because I feel very fortunate for all the things that I did in this life and happened to me in the world of tennis. So it’s normal that after all those things you go through, sad and tough moments, too, and that’s it. Just keep going.”
With Rafa out, Federer accesses the final in Indian Wells where he will face Dominic Thiem. The head to head is 2-2.