Tennis

Rafael Nadal Withdraws from Wimbledon Sending Nick Kyrgios into Final

Spain’s Rafael Nadal holds a press conference on the eleventh day of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 7, 2022. – Rafael Nadal announced today that he is withdrawing from Wimbledon after failing to recover from an abdominal injury. – (Photo by ANDREW TOTH/AFP via Getty Images)

An abdominal injury has forced Rafael Nadal to turn the page on the calendar Grand Slam.

A “very sad” Nadal officially withdrew from Wimbledon today due to the abdominal tear he suffered in his pulsating and painful five-set quarterfinal conquest of Taylor Fritz yesterday.

It’s a crushing blow to Wimbledon and painful end to Nadal’s pursuit of history.

Closing the curtain on this Wimbledon campaign snaps Nadal’s 19-match major winning streak, ends his quest for the calendar Slam and sends nemesis Nick Kyrgios into his first Grand Slam final on Sunday. Nadal was bidding to become just the third man in history to complete the calendar Grand Slam and first since Rocket Rod Laver swept his second Slam in 1969.

The second-seeded Spaniard suffered an abdominal tear about seven millimeters long. Though Nadal practiced today at Aorangi Park he looked restricted and unable to serve at full speed.

“Unfortunately I I have to pull out of the tournament. As everyone saw yesterday I have been suffering with the pain in the abdominal,” Nadal told the media at Wimbledon. “I know something was not okay there as yesterday I said and yeah that’s confirmed.

“I have a tear in the muscle in the abdominal… I think it don’t make sense to go even if I tried during all the time during my career to keep going in very tough circumstances. It’s obvious if I keep going the injury is going to keep getting worse and worse and I feel very sad to say that.”

The 22-time Grand Slam champion’s departure sends mercurial Kyrgios into his maiden major final.

It’s the second time in the Open Era a man has withdrawn prior to a Grand Slam semifinal; Richard Krajicek was forced out of the ’92 Austalian Open semifinals due to a shoulder injury.

The 40th-ranked Kyrgios awaits either his nemesis, six-time champion Novak Djokovic, or British No. 1 Cameron Norrie in Sunday’s final.

Bidding to reach his first Wimbledon final since 2011, Nadal instead departs at the semifinal stage for the third consecutive time. Nadal said he initially sustained the abdominal strain a week ago and it worsened during his four hour, 21-minute win over Fritz.

“I had some issues in abdominals since a week, but the things were more or less we were able to control it,” Nadal said. “But yesterday was the worst day, no? Honestly during the week I did tests to see how the things evolves. It’s obvious that yesterday after the match this very small thing that I had years ago — sorry, days ago, increased to a bigger thing.”

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