Canada’s Raonic loses to Thiem in Indian Wells semifinals

Canada’s Raonic loses to Thiem in Indian Wells semifinals

Canada’s Raonic loses to Thiem in Indian Wells semifinals

After a year and a half, the tennis fans had the chances to see another chapter of the fantastic rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal after both tennis legends managed to qualify for the semifinal in Indian Wells.

The 37-year has eased through the draw without dropping a set and having made history by joining Jimmy Connors in the 100 club with his title success in Dubai a couple of weeks ago - he is on track for 101 when he faces either Raonic or Thiem in Sunday's final.

Nadal's knee appeared to flare up in his quarter-final win over Khachanov on Friday, where he twice received treatment from his trainer, with the Spaniard stressing after the match he would need to assess the injury ahead of the match on Saturday.

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

Rafael Nadal (ESP) returns as he wins his semi final match against Karen Khachanov (not pictured) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. It was obvious that Nadal's movement was hampered.

Nadal said he won't play again until the Monte Carlo Masters clay event in mid-April.

"For me it is not about today only", the world number two said.

"Probably it's more than 1,100 matches on tour, more than any surface", the 32-year-old Spaniard said. Sometimes I feel sad because I'm in a disadvantage to all my opponents. Nadal didn't drop a set in reaching his fifth Australian Open final, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

While Nadal said he feels knee pain "almost always", in the face of this latest setback he insisted: "My goal doesn't change".

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

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