Nadal WD's before Federer clash with knee injury

Nadal WD's before Federer clash with knee injury

Nadal, who said he hoped and expected to be fit for a semi-final showdown with old foe Roger Federer on Saturday, wanted to be careful when asked if he thought playing on hard courts contributed to his history of injury.

Nadal's knee appeared to flare up in his quarter-final win over Khachanov on Friday, where he twice received treatment from his trainer, with the Spaniard stressing after the match he would need to assess the injury ahead of the match on Saturday.

"It's not my case", he said.

Federer, meanwhile, broke Pole Hubert Hurkacz once in each set for a 6-4 6-4 win in the first career meeting between the pair and was perhaps more bothered by his early start.

Federer added: "The way we go about it is very different, but yet we both find a way to excel".

"For me it is not about today only", the world number two said. "It's been quite a journey with Rafa side by side". Federer has won each of the last five meetings, but Nadal holds a 23-15 lifetime head-to-head edge.

That included their most recent encounter, Federer's straight-sets victory in the Shanghai Masters final in October of 2017.

His run at the first Grand Slam of the year marked his return to competition for the first time since a similar knee problem forced him to retire from his US Open semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro in September. He didn't play again until the Australian Open, where he fell in the championship match to Novak Djokovic.

Rafael Nadal speaks to the media after withdrawing from his semi-final match against Roger Federer.

"Nobody can guarantee anything about what can happen the next day, but of course my goal is to be ready for tomorrow". "They warned me they were going to put me on at 11.00 (a.m.)".

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