"If I don't see this match as special it's because I don't love this sport and I don't appreciate the story of this sport", Nadal said after reaching the semi-final showdown with a 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/2) victory over Karen Khachanov.
It was the first match between the pair and far from one-sided, as Hurkacz had two break points but could seize neither.
It would have been the 39th career meeting between Nadal and Federer, who advances to Sunday's final in pursuit of a record sixth title at Indian Wells. The way he came up was very clay-court based, and I was apparently very grass-court based, and we both found our ways on other surfaces...More news: UK Parliament votes to delay Brexit but rejects second referendum
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However, Federer and Nadal got to this appointment in a completely different state.
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.
"Nobody can guarantee anything about what can happen the next day, but of course my goal is to be ready for tomorrow". "I'm holding serve comfortably, in a good place mentally when I go into my service games". "They warned me they were going to put me on at 11.00 (a.m.)".