A knee injury prompted Rafael Nadal to pull out of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Saturday, about two hours before he was scheduled to face longtime rival Roger Federer in a men’s singles semifinal showdown.
“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 told reporters.
During his last match against Karen Khachanov on Friday, Nadal received medical treatment during the second set and was visibly suffering from a knee injury.
In a post-match news conference, he said he was unsure if he would be healthy enough to continue.
This marks the second high-profile withdrawal from the tournament, after Serena Williams dropped out Sunday due to a viral illness during her match against Garbine Muguruza.
Nadal’s exit means fourth-seeded Federer, who is seeking a record- breaking sixth title at Indian Wells, advances to Sunday’s finals, where he will face the winner of Saturday’s other semifinal match between Dominic Thiem and Milos Raonic in Stadium 1.
The two have only met twice, and the last time was in 2016. The Canadian Raonic won both matches.
The finalists in the women’s singles will take the court Sunday. Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber will face the 18-year-old Canadian rising star Bianca Andreescu, who is ranked 60th in the world.
Semifinalists each receive $354,000 in prize money while the winner of the tournament will take home $1,354,010. The runner-up earns $686,000.