The World Number two tennis player, Rafael Nadal annulled his rendezvous with his longtime rival, Roger Federer in the Tennis Paradise and the tennis followers around the globe were crestfallen. The duo was playing for the first time since their Shanghai meeting in October 2017. The knee injury of Rafael Nadal compelled him to pull out from the Californian desert and his injury did hamper his gameplay during the quarterfinal match against the Russian, Karen Khachanov.
The World Number four tennis player, Roger Federer received a text message from Nadal’s end and he was disheartened to know about the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal. “I was ready to go, warming up this morning and I heard Rafa was warming up on the outside court,” Roger Federer acknowledges. “I thought the match was definitely on. Then Rafa texted me a message saying, ‘It’s not going to be possible, my knee’s not well and I can’t do it. I went back to the house and relaxed.”
“I am obviously excited to be in the finals, but not this way. He played so well this week and I thought he was playing some of his best tennis again”, said Federer.
Further, he continued, “I was really looking forward to the match and I’m sorry it didn’t happen (Our rivalry) is different now. When he was coming up, I was world No 1 and he was 17. It was cute at the time”, smiled Federer.
“Not so much anymore”, he continued. “We’ve had so many epic battles and I know now that everyone we have could be our last. Was this our last chance? I hope not.”
The 20-time Grand Slam champion also tweeted and wished Rafael Nadal a speedy recovery.
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) March 16, 2019
They have met 38 times in their career and Rafael Nadal leads by 23-15 in their head-to-head clashes. The Spaniard would have struggled to be at his best if he were to play the semifinal and hence Rafael Nadal perceived withdrawal to be a better option.
“I warmed up today and I felt that my knee was not good to compete at the level I needed to compete in semifinals,” Rafael Nadal said. “It’s tough for me to accept all these things that I’m going through in my career. I feel myself competitive when I am healthy, and my goal is to be healthy as many weeks as possible. I don’t have doubts today that I will be ready for Monte-Carlo.”
.@RafaelNadal has withdrawn from the tournament due to a right knee injury. We wish Rafa a speedy recovery.
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 16, 2019