Rafael Nadal pulls out with injury before semi-final against Roger Federer

Getty Images  Yong Teck Lim

"I went back to the house and relaxed".

The 37-year has eased through the draw without dropping a set and having made history by joining Jimmy Connors in the 100 club with his title success in Dubai a couple of weeks ago - he is on track for 101 when he faces either Raonic or Thiem in Sunday's final.

Nadal took a medical time-out after the third game of the second set to have tape applied under his right knee and looked in serious discomfort before battling to a 7-6 (2) 7-6 (2) victory, saving a set point to avoid being pushed to a decider.

But the Swiss star hopes he gets a chance to face Rafael Nadal again, who pulled out of their semi-final with a knee injury.

Federer said he might not feel quite the same tingle of anticipation as fans at the prospect of facing Nadal, but he acknowledged that their clashes always raise the stakes.

"I warm up today in the morning, and I felt that my knee was not enough good to compete at the level that I need to compete", he said.

"I was really looking forward to the match and I'm sorry it didn't happen".

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"For me it is not about today only", the world number two said.

He appeared to be on the verge of tears on Saturday as he spoke to the media.

The 32-year-old was playing only his second event since reaching the final of the Australian Open; he lost to Nick Kyrgios in the last 16 of the Mexican Open.

He underwent surgery on his ankle to remove an intra-articular loose body in November and only resumed training in December.

"It's tough for me to accept all these things that I'm going through in my career".

"I am used to playing with some issues, so I just tried to be focused".

"But at the same time, in the other hand, I went through fantastic moments and still going with that feeling a lot of times. The things that I can't control, I can't control".

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