A dejected Rafael Nadal pulled out of his Indian Wells semifinal against old foe Roger Federer on Saturday with a right knee injury and said he'll turn his attention to getting fit for the claycourt season.
"What I'm going to do is come back home and try to do a smooth transition to clay, try to be 100 percent for the first event, that's going to be Monte Carlo [starting April 14] for me."
World number two Nadal had made it to the last four without dropping a set, so it was especially devastating when knee pain flared up during his 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/2) quartervinal victory over Russian Karen Khachanov on Friday.
He soldiered through to what would have been a 39th career meeting with Federer, but said he knew when he practiced Saturday morning that he wouldn't be able to play to an adequate standard.
"I wanted to try my best to be competitive today," he said. "I warmed 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, to play semi-finals match of this event."
While Nadal said he feels knee pain "almost always", in the face of this latest setback he insisted: "My goal doesn't change".
"Even if sometimes it's tough for me to accept all these things that I am going through during all my career, sometimes I feel sad because I feel always in disadvantage compared with all my opponents in terms of preparation and in terms of practice and sometimes under competition," an emotional Nadal said.
"But at the same time, in the other hand, I went through fantastic moments and still going with that feeling a lot of times.S o I'm just going to keep going. I'm just going to keep doing the things that work well for me and accepting that sometimes these issues can happen.
"All the things that are in my hands I am doing well. The things that I can't control, I can't control."