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 seventh-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria, who defeated Canada’s Milos Raonic on Saturday, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4.
The finalists in the women’s singles will also 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.