Roger Federer will meet Rafael Nadal in the semifinal of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, after his quarterfinal opponent Gilles Simon retired early on Thursday.
Simon retired with a stiff neck after losing the first three games, saying he had aggravated a recurring problem while warming up for the match.
The top-ranked Nadal defeated Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in his quarterfinal match. Federer is now third in the world rankings.
The rivals will play on Friday night for the 23rd time, but for the first time in North America since the same tournament in 2005, when Federer beat Nadal for the title.
"We really get up for these kind of matches against each other because we know the world is watching," Federer said. "We always have these incredible points and incredible matches."
Federer won their most recent matchup for the title in the ATP World Tour Finals in London last November. Nadal won their only other meeting last year in the Madrid final.
While most of their showdowns have been in finals as the world number one and two, they will play this time in the semifinals because Federer recently slipped to third in the rankings behind Novak Djokovic. The other semifinal on Friday pits the world number two Serb against American Mardy Fish.
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