Thiem overcomes Raonic to set up Federer final

Thiem overcomes Raonic to set up Federer final

Thiem overcomes Raonic to set up Federer final

The 39th match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal failed to materialize on Saturday as the world No. 2 Spaniard hobbled out of Indian Wells to send Federer into a title clash with Dominic Thiem.

Federer was warming up on another court at the same time as Nadal and figured the match was on.

"We've had so many epic battles", Federer, 38, said. Little known at the time, Osaka used her Indian Wells victory as a launching pad to beating Serena Williams for the US Open title and winning the Australian Open while becoming the world's top-ranked player. What can I say? "It's about what it means for me to have to pull out in a tournament that I love so much like this one, and in the semi-finals after playing well during the whole tournament", Nadal said. "It was a roller coaster". The Ukrainian also was bothered by her inflamed right knee. I'll try to be at my 100 per-cent for the first event, which is going to be Monte Carlo for me.

It was just the fifth time in Nadal's career that he had conceded a walkover, and the first to Federer. "You can imagine that I can't be happy".

Now Thiem will play in his first final at the BNP Paribas Open, as well as his first Masters final on hardcourts, against a fresh-footed Federer eyeing career singles title No. 101.

Dominic Thiem of Austria in action against Milos Raonic of Canada during their men's singles semifinal at the Indian Wells 2019
Dominic Thiem of Austria in action against Milos Raonic of Canada during their men’s singles semifinal at the Indian Wells 2019

He couldn't convert his only break point against Raonic in the second, and Raonic managed to seize the tiebreaker aided by a favorable netcord bounce for a 5-3 lead.

"It's always something special to play him", he said.

Nadal had enjoyed a dominant week at Indian Wells, reaching the semi-finals without dropping a set.

Against Hurkacz, Federer fought off two break points in the second set, including the final game, when he closed the match with a forehand victor off a short ball.

Hurkacz, a 22-year-old Pole, earned three-set upsets of No. 28 Lucas Pouille, No. 6 Kei Nishikori and No. 24 Denis Shapovalov to make his first ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal, against his childhood idol. Federer was playing in his 83rd at this level.


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