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Tennis – Nadal withdraws before Murray semi

Rafael Nadal has been forced to pull out of his semi-final against Novak Djokovic at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami due to a knee injury.

Nadal, who has had problems with his knees before on the American hardcourts, apologised for withdrawing from the Masters series event, but said he had to.

“I am not ready to compete today. I am very sorry for the fans. I’m very sorry for the tournament. I’m very sorry for everybody who were ready to watch the match on the television,” Nadal told a news conference.

“I take no pleasure from this but I cannot do anything else. I am not ready to compete, and I cannot go on court and lie to everybody.”

Murray, the Miami champion in 2009, was gifted his second walkover of the tournament after Canadian Milos Raonic pulled out of their third round match with an ankle injury.

The Scotsman will play top-seeded Serb Novak Djokovic, who beat Juan Monaco of Argentina 6-0 7-6(5), in Sunday’s final.

“To get two in one week is strange. That doesn’t happen often really at all,” said the fourth seed.

“It’s never happened to me before. So I don’t really know how I’m going to feel for the final, but I’ll definitely be fresh.”

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