Austrian tennis star Dominic Thiem said it was a "pity" that in-form Gael Monfils couldn't play their BNP Paribas Open quarter-final clash. The Frenchman announced shocking news just minutes before their clash as he was forced to withdraw due to Achilles tendon problem.
Thiem, seeded at No. 7, received a free pass into the Indian Wells Masters semi-final as a result of Monfils' withdrawal. No. 18 seed Monfils was bidding to win his maiden Masters 1000 title as he caught fire on the hard courts of Indian Wells.
The Frenchman needed three sets to beat Leonardo Mayer in his opener, before he demolished Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-0 6-3 in the third round and Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-0 6-2 in the round-of-16 respectively. "I was really surprised," Thiem said of Monfils' withdrawal, per AFP.
"I'm really sorry for him. Obviously we are both playing well here. He's having a great season. I'm picking up my form again. So I think it would have been very tough but also a very fun match for us, for the crowd.
So it's a pity." World No. 8 Thiem will be fighting against 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic for a place in the Indian Wells final. Raonic, seeded at No. 13, saw off rising Serbian star Miomir Kecmanovic in straight sets to reach the semi-final. It remains to be seen can Thiem beat Raonic for the first time as the Canadian leads their head-to-head 2-0.