One of the great sporting rivalries will be renewed at Indian Wells on Saturday when Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal clash in a semi-final at the BNP Paribas Open, providing the Spaniard’s troublesome right knee does not keep him off court.
The multiple Grand Slam champions both won their quarter-finals on Friday, although Nadal in particular had to work hard to overcome Russian Karen Khachanov 7-6(2) 7-6(2) in a match during which he required treatment on the knee.
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.
The Spaniard leads 23-15 on a head-to-head basis but the Swiss has won the last five encounters.
They have not met since Shanghai in 2017, the same year that Federer beat Nadal 6-2 6-3 in the fourth round on his way to his fifth title at Indian Wells.