The 39th match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal failed to materialise on Saturday as the World No 2 Spaniard hobbled out of Indian Wells to send Federer into a title clash with Dominic Thiem.
Nadal, whose longstanding right knee trouble flared up in his quarter-final victory over Karen Khachanov, couldn’t take the court for the blockbuster semi-final with Swiss great Federer.
Federer, seeded fourth as he pursues a record sixth title in the California desert, will battle 25-year-old Austrian Thiem, who is seeking his first title in one of the ATP’s prestigious Masters 1000 events.
Thiem, ranked eighth in the world, was rock-solid in a 7-6(3), 6-7(3), 6-4 victory over 14th-ranked Canadian Milos Raonic.
Thiem, who advanced to the semis on a walkover when Gael Monfils withdrew with a Achilles tendon inflammation, was locked-in from the start, firing 10 winners without an unforced error in the opening set.