"It's a big letdown", said Federer, who came on court in khaki shorts and a gray cardigan to address fans. "I know that every one that we have now could be our last".
I'm just happy to be in the semi-finals.
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.
Nadal, who has struggled with knee injuries throughout his stellar career, was the second high-profile player to withdraw from the tournament. It was obvious that Nadal's movement was hampered.
The Spanish superstar, who has battled knee tendinitis and other injuries throughout his career, confirmed he won't compete at next week's Miami Masters, targeting a return to competition at Monte Carlo from April 14-21 instead.
"For me it's not about only today".
As the Spaniard tennis phenom, Rafael Nadal announced the sad news for the tennis followers worldwide by calling off the 39th "Fedal" rendezvous and Federer without any hassles sailed into finals of the Indian Wells 2019.
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Their rivalry stretches back 15 years, and Federer couldn't help wondering how many more chances they might have.
Thiem reached the semifinals via walkover after Gael Monfils withdrew from their quarterfinal with a strained left Achilles.
Raonic hit far more winners than Thiem, but combined that with 35 unforced errors, one of which gave the Austrian the match's first break in the fifth game of the third set. He led 5-3 and served it out, winning on his second match point with a backhand volley. "Roger was playing great in the crucial moments".
"When Rafa is healthy, especially in a place like here in Indian Wells where he feels comfortable, he's clearly very tough to play", Federer said.
"It was an awesome day", said Thiem, who will be playing in his third Masters 1,000 final.
"Probably it's more than 1,100 matches on tour, more than any surface", the 32-year-old Spaniard said.