Tennis

Wimbledon | More on Nadal’s withdrawal

Rafa Nadal was “very sad” as he pulled out of Wimbledon.

It was thought the two-time champion might play his scheduled semi-final on Friday against Nick Kyrgios after a medical check revealed he had a 7mm tear in his abdomen muscle.

The second seed had a quiet knock up on Thursday afternoon and turned the situation over in his mind.

But as much as he wished to play, the severity of the injury forced the 36-year-old Spaniard to concede his bid to maintain a charge to a Calendar Grand Slam for 2022.

He had pushed through the pain barrier to defeat American Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals despite the physical limitation imposed by the injury.

And it gives unseeded Kyrgios a free pass into his first major final where he will play the winner of the remaining last-four tie between reigning champion Novak Djokovic and Britain’s Cameron Norrie.

The winner of a record 22 Slams said on Thursday night: “I have tried a lot of times in my career to keep going but it is obvious the injury will get worse.

“Throughout the whole day I have been thinking about the decision to make. I think it doesn’t make sense to play. I feel very sad to say that. Happiness more important than titles.”

Nadal , who came into the Championships with foot trouble, was unable to serve at full tilt due to the tear.

He said: “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, 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.”

Nadal had no regrets about finishing the encounter with Fritz.
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Nadal, who now aims for the US Open beginning on 29 August, said: “I had this feeling in the abdomen for the past week. It will be three or four weeks, which is normal for these kind of injuries. I hope this will allow me to do my normal calendar, the calendar which I have in mind.”

Kyrgios tweeted: “We all hope to see you healthy soon.”

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