Rafael Nadal withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday, done in once again by a knee injury. He had been set to play longtime rival Roger Federer in the semifinals.
Rafa announced his withdrawal a couple hours before he was scheduled to take the court at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
“I warm up today in the morning, and I felt that my knee was not enough good to compete at the level that I need to compete,” he said.
The Spaniard’s right knee flared up in the second set of his 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2) victory over Karen Khachanov in Friday’s quarterfinals. He twice called for a trainer, who applied tape just below Rafa’s knee. It was obvious that Nadal’s movement was hampered.
Rafa said he won’t play again until the Monte-Carlo Masters on clay in mid-April.
“I don’t have doubts today that I will be ready for Monte Carlo,” he said.
Knee problems have dogged the 32-year-old Spaniard for years, and they cut short his 2018 season after the U.S. Open in September. He was forced to quit two sets into his semifinal against Juan Martin del Potro.
Nadal choked up discussing his withdrawal last fall, and he appeared near tears on Saturday.
He admitted that he sometimes is sad because he feels at a disadvantage against his opponents due to his continued knee issues that force him to limit his practice and playing time.
Then he gathered himself, saying, “It’s not the moment to complain much. With all this stuff, I still where I am today.”
The year began promisingly enough. Nadal didn’t drop a set in reaching his fifth Australian Open final, where he lost to Novak Djokovic. He’s ranked No. 2 in the world and has a match record of 11-2.
“Still tough because I felt more or less OK during this beginning of the season in terms of my knee,” he said. “Now it starts the process that I have to decide what direction we have to take to recover well and to recover as soon as possible.”
Even with all of his injuries, Nadal indicated he has no intention of giving up playing on hard courts, the surface for two of the four Grand Slam events.
“My goal is to play on all the surfaces,” he said.
It would have been the 39th career meeting between Nadal and Federer, who advances to Sunday’s final in pursuit of a record sixth title at Indian Wells.
Federer will play either Milos Raonic or Dominic Thiem, whose semifinal was under way when Rafa was talking to reporters.
Dallas… Thanks for the update on Miami. Sounds very nice… I know the feeling when Rafa is out and the tennis keeps going… You root for someone who you wouldn’t otherwise root for especially if Rafa was across the net or even in the tournament. It’s is wierd… I was pulling for Thiem at the iW final… After all, if Rafa wasn’t there to beat Fed then let Dominick do it…. Just hoping Rafa’s rehab is on track and all quiet in Mallorca is a good sign…
Miami would be more beautiful if your smile and passion were here. To be sure, I am here wearing my Rafa shirts. Many comments from other Rafans who miss you and wish you health and healing for the clay season. Vamos Rafa
Sorry, Dallas, I meant to hit the thumbs up but missed. Lovely sentiments from you. Couldn’t possibly be any thumbs down!
Christie … No worries. All is good.
Chrissie, if you hit the thumbs up or thumbs down button in error, you can change it by just tapping the desired button rapidly several times and it will change.
So very true Dallas… It’s just not the same without Rafa… So it sounds like you are at the “new” Miami Open… Tell us how it is … the grounds …the venue…. what’s it like… I was at the Miami Open in 2017 which was in Key Biscayne… The players complained the venue was too small… I’ve heard the new venue is a big change… What’s it like?
Yes, I attended Miami Open on 3/22. I have never been to Key Biscayne, but my family enjoyed the Hard Rock venue very much. Many food choices, merchandise sales (including Rafa tees), many outside courts, beautiful landscaping, more than adequate parking and stadium is easy to get to. Definitely ample space to expand.There are a few minor bugs to work out but that is understandable. Seating in stadium was great. I highly recommend seats on the Club level 244-248. They are in the shade and you have access to the large air conditioned lounge with many good food vendors, with short or no lines, that are not on the main grounds. Just wish we could have seen our champion play. It felt weird to root for Djokovic. PS. Sorry Chrissie. Autocorrect changed how I typed your name.
Rafa Nadal i miss you your smile your inthoseasome and most of all your exciteing tennis get well soon.
Rafa Nadal you are truley missed hurry back your bestest fan friend.