Thiem overcomes Raonic to set up Federer final

17 March, 2019, 13:57 | Author: Ginger Lawrence
  • Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after beating Karen Khachanov of Russia in the quarter finals of the BNP Paribas Open

It's Federer vs. Nadal again, only this time it'll be in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open.

The Spaniard had looked in serious discomfort as he saw off Karen Khachanov in the quarter-finals, needing a medical time-out after the third game of the second set to have tape applied under his right knee.

Federer, 37 and bidding for his 101st career title, received a walkover into the final, where he will play Dominic Thiem, a 7-6 (3) 6-7 (3) 6-4 victor over Milos Raonic in Saturday's only semi-final.

"I love to play on hard (courts), but probably my body don't love it that much", Nadal said, according to Christopher Clarey of the New York Times.

Nadal, who has struggled with knee injuries throughout his stellar career, was the second high-profile player to withdraw from the tournament. "When you want to try maybe just to play more safe then he suddenly steps in and he counterattacks".

Federer was looking forward to the match and the chance to break out of a tie with Novak Djokovic for most Indian Wells titles, but was sorry to miss a meeting with Nadal. "I can not guarantee how I'm going to wake up tomorrow morning".

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

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"I don't have doubts today that I will be ready for Monte Carlo", he said. "I'm holding serve comfortably, in a good place mentally when I go into my service games".

Nadal leads Federer 23-15 on a head-to-head basis but the Swiss has won the past five encounters. "It's a big tournament, big final for me tomorrow especially after last year's tough loss against Juan Martin", Federer said.

Earlier on Saturday, Nadal announced he had reluctantly been forced to pull out of a showdown with Federer.

"I think he's playing very well".

The match will mark the 39th time the two legends play one another, but it'll be their first meeting since Shanghai 2017.

Hurkacz, a 22-year-old Pole, earned three-set upsets of No. 28 Lucas Pouille, No. 6 Kei Nishikori and No. 24 Denis Shapovalov to make his first ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal, against his childhood idol. Federer was playing in his 83rd at this level.

"I know every one we have now could be our last", Federer said.

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