Monday, April 22, 2024

Injured Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon semi-finals

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Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from his Wimbledon semi-final against Nick Kyrgios with an abdominal injury.

The 36-year-old Spanish second seed received treatment during his quarter-final against Taylor Fritz on Wednesday but pushed through the pain to win in five sets.

“I have tried a lot of times in my career to keep going but it is obvious the injury will get worse,” he said.

Kyrgios will play Novak Djokovic or Cameron Norrie in Sunday’s final.

Nadal confirmed he has a tear in his abdominal muscle which means he would not be able to be competitive over two matches.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion had practised at Wimbledon away from the media earlier on Thursday but then called a news conference.

“Throughout the whole day I have been thinking about the decision to make,” Nadal told reporters.

“I think it doesn’t make sense to play. I feel very sad to say that.”

Nadal had strapping on his abdomen during his fourth-round match but was in visible pain from the injury against Fritz.

He took a medical timeout during the match and ignored calls from his father and sister to quit before somehow rallying to win.

The two-time Wimbledon champion had been on course for a calendar Grand Slam, having won the Australian and French Opens already this year.

Nadal had been a doubt for Wimbledon because of a chronic foot condition which he had to manage during his run to a record-extending 14th French Open title last month.

He had performed well at the All England Club but was visibly struggling during the match against Fritz.

His serve was noticeably affected by the injury and he said on Thursday that he could not serve “at a normal speed”.

“I can’t imagine myself winning two matches and for respect to myself in some way I don’t want to go out and not be competitive enough,” Nadal said.

“A couple of weeks ago I saw my career very different because of the foot injury.

“The most important thing is happiness more than any titles. I can’t risk that match and stay two or three months out of the competition.

“I am very sad and it is a very tough one.”

Kyrgios wished Nadal well in a social media post, adding: “We all hope to see you healthy soon.” (BBC)

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