Nadal withdraws from semis at Indian Wells

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after beating Karen Khachanov of Russia in the quarter finals of the BNP Paribas Open

After his win over Hubert Hurkacz, Roger Federer commented on his rivalry with Rafael Nadal who he will face in Indian Wells.

Federer, who can break out of a tie with Novak Djokovic with a record sixth title in the California desert, is on a collision course with three-time champion Nadal, who took on Russian Karen Khachanov in the quarter-finals.

It was the first match between the pair and far from one-sided, as Hurkacz had two break points but could seize neither.

The Nadal-Federer matchup would have been the 39th meeting in their careers and the first in 16 months. The way he came up was very clay-court based, and I was apparently very grass-court based, and we both found our ways on other surfaces...

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"Not that I didn't expect it, but it definitely went better than I thought it would".

There was a shadow hanging over the blockbuster showdown however, after oft-injured Nadal needed treatment to have supportive tape applied to his right knee in his victory over Khachanov.

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. He didn't play again until the Australian Open, where he fell in the championship match to Novak Djokovic. On having won the last five matches played against Nadal, Federer added: "I don't think those five matches matter that much, to be honest".

"Hopefully I am going to be ready for it".

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