How to Watch Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal

How to Watch Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal

Nadal had been set to play longtime rival Roger Federer later Saturday.

Nadal, who has struggled with knee injuries throughout his stellar career, was the second high-profile player to withdraw from the tournament.

A somber Nadal announced his withdrawal a couple hours before he was scheduled to take the court at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The Monte Carlo Masters will officially see the return to the red dirt next month and that is when Nadal is aiming to return.

They have not met since Shanghai in 2017, the same year that Federer beat Nadal 6-2 6-3 in the fourth round at Indian Wells. After an uninspiring performance against unseeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic parked his run in the third round and then turned his attention to doubles.

"What I'm going to do is come back home and try to do a smooth transition to clay, try to be 100 percent for the first event, that's going to be Monte Carlo for me", he said. "His serve is just unreal so even though I played unbelievable it was so close the first two sets".

Federer received a walkover to the final, where he will play either Austria's Dominic Thiem or Milos Raonic of Canada. He led 5-3 and served it out, winning on his second match point with a backhand volley.

Federer, meanwhile, broke Pole Hubert Hurkacz once in each set for a 6-4 6-4 win in the first career meeting between the pair and was perhaps more bothered by his early start. "I know that every one that we have now could be our last". While on one hand, Roger is extremely fresh after spending not so much time on court, on the other Rafa got injured to his right knee when playing Khachanov in the quarterfinal.

"It's always something special to play him", he said.

Knee problems have dogged Nadal for years, and they cut short his 2018 season after the U.S. Open in September. "But I warmed up this morning and felt that my knee wasn't good enough to compete at the needed level".

"Another goal of mine was to make history, and I just did", she said, smiling.

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