Nadal WD's before Federer clash with knee injury

Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot to Karen Khachanov of Russia during the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells California

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal reach semis showdown: Enjoy it while you can

Nadal comes into the match with some injury concerns, as he appeared to tweak his knee during his quarterfinal win over Karen Khachanov on Friday. "Of course it's a special match".

Federer, who is looking to follow up his 100th title in Dubai last month, had a more comfortable outing in ending the run of young Pole Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 6-4. "But it always brings extra energy into the stadium and for the both of us". I'm very excited to be in the semis here.

Federer trails Nadal in their head-to-head series, 23-15, but he's won their last five meetings and that adds a nice twist to the tale.

It would have been the first meeting between the pair since 2017. "I'm holding serve comfortably, in a good place mentally when I go into my service games".

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.

However, Federer and Nadal got to this appointment in a completely different state. He's at a higher level than he was at the Australian Open.

Federer said he might not feel quite the same tingle of anticipation as fans at the prospect of facing Nadal, but he acknowledged that their clashes always raise the stakes.

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

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